WASHINGTON - Data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from two surveys show that the employment situation for women in April was mixed.While hiring reports from businesses and government agencies show that women gained jobs last month, the unemployment rate for women edged up, according to an analysis by the National WomenÂs Law Center (NWLC).
ÂThe April data reveal a mixed picture for women,Â said NWLC Co-President Nancy Duff Campbell. ÂWhile the pace of job growth for women picked up, womenÂs overall unemployment rate edged up last month, disproportionately for women of color.Since the recovery officially began in July 2009, women have lost jobs overall and their unemployment rate has increasedÂwhile men have gained jobs overall and their unemployment rate has declined.Â
Despite gaining 113,000 jobs last month, women have actually lost jobs since the recovery officially started in July 2009. From July 2009 through April 2011, men gained 937,000 jobs while women lost 102,000. Men suffered the majority of the job loss during the recession (December 2007 - June 2009), losing 71 percent of all jobs cut compared to 29 percent for women. For the first six months of the recovery, men and women lost a similar number of jobs, resulting in men accounting for 69 percent of all lost jobs between December 2007 and the end of 2009.But as jobs began to come back in 2010, women were left behind, filling only 18 percent of the jobs created between January 2010 and April 2011.NWLC found that continued job losses in public sector employment were a major contributor to the low net job growth for women in April. Over the course of the recovery, women have lost 74 percent of the 378,000 public sector jobs lost.
The unemployment rate for women increased slightly last month, rising to 7.9 percent in April from 7.7 percent in March. MenÂs unemployment rate also rose slightly, increasing to 8.8 percent in April from 8.6 percent in March. Since the start of the recovery, menÂs unemployment rate dropped by a percentage point (to 8.8 percent in April 2011 from 9.8 percent in July 2009), while womenÂs unemployment rate increased (to 7.9 percent in April 2011from 7.7 percent in July 2009).
Some particularly vulnerable groups experienced increased unemployment during April. Unemployment among African-American women increased by nearly a percentage point, climbing to 13.4 percent in April from 12.5 percent in March.Unemployment for African-American men also increased, though to a much lesser degree, rising to 17.0 percent in April from 16.8 percent in March.Unemployment among Hispanic women rose last month, increasing to 11.4 percent in April from 11.0 percent in March while unemployment among Hispanic men dropped, declining to 10.3 percent in April from 11.1 percent in March.
ÂDespite modest gains in job growth, todayÂs report is a reminder that millions of American women and their families are still searching for work,Â added Campbell.ÂItÂs critical that policy makers focus on strategies to increase job opportunities instead of promoting deep budget cuts that could unravel the slow and fragile recovery.Â