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Women Are Still Losing Jobs in the Public Sector

Illustration for article titled Women Are Still Losing Jobs in the Public Sector

A pretty blah jobs report came out today: the economy only added 80,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate is still stuck at 8.2 percent. If you're wondering what that means for women, the National Women's Law Center analyzed June's jobs data and found that women lost 17,000 public sector jobs while men gained 13,000. Over the last three years, since the recovery officially began, women have gained 512,000 jobs while men have gained 2,073,000.


"The June jobs data reflect a disturbing trend we've seen during the three years of the recovery: cuts in public sector jobs are undermining the recovery overall-but especially for women," said Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security at the National Women's Law Center. "For every ten private sector jobs women have gained since the recovery began in June 2009, they've lost more than four public sector jobs. Our communities are losing teachers, nurses, police and firefighters but some policy makers still don't get it. They're pushing for deeper budget cuts that will mean more lost jobs, more cuts in education, health care, public safety, and other vital services."

Women did gain more private sector jobs than men last month: 49,000 as opposed to 35,000. Most of the new jobs were in professional and business services and leisure and hospitality. But women only gained 2,000 jobs in the private education and health sector, which has been the strongest area of job gains for women overall during the recovery.


Three Years into the Recovery, Job Growth for Women Undermined by Public Sector Job Losses, NWLC Analysis Shows [NWLC]

(image via NWLC.)

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When women work in the public sector, they are often holding the "anchor" job in the family. If they have a spouse, the spouse doesn't have a job with health insurance or consistent work. In the public sector, women had more predictable rankings than the private sector and in many cases, some benefit to getting older in a job. Not perfect or anything. In the private sector, it's lord of the flies in comparison for older women and those with the "anchor" position in the family.

I can't believe the people who rave about public sector people and their pensions and benefits. It's "crabs in a bucket" syndrome.