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Are Obama’s Policies Hurting Women?


That’s the question asked by the Washington Post’s fact checker this morning. Glen Kessler writes:

In an effort to fight back against Democratic claims of a Republican “war on women,” the Republican National Committee has rolled out a new and startling fact—that under Obama, women have lost seven times as many jobs as men.

 We found this statistic surprising because we had been under the impression that men had fared worse than women in the recession. So do the RNC’s numbers add up?

After reviewing the facts he concludes that while men have lost more jobs during the recession than women, they are also now recovering much faster than women.

In other words, men did lose more jobs in the recession. Now that the economy is growing again, men are recovering jobs at a faster pace than women.  In fact, the latest employment report shows that male participation in the work force was up 14,000 while female participation fell 177,000, in part because women tend to work in retail or government jobs, which have been cut in recent months.

He adds that it is obviously unclear at this point whether or not Obama’s policies are responsible for the gap, “but it certainly is an under-reported phenomenon that the RNC, in its use of this statistic, is trying to highlight.”#more#

Also interesting is the data that shows that more women have given up looking for a job then men in recent months. This chart is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which shows the monthly change in labor force characteristics by gender from February to March 2012.

As you can see, the overall civilian labor force declined by 164,000. This decline in labor-force participation all came from women: Male participation grew by 20,000, while female participation fell by 226,000 (fourth category).  

Also, the number of unemployed for each gender fell (first category). Here women seem to fare better than men. However, the number of women who exited the labor force this month is four time larger than the number of men. So basically, it seems that given today’s labor market many women are giving up on the idea of being employed or looking for a job.


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