May 25, 2018
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Recovery Act Jobs and Training Must Include Women, NWLC Says

(Washington, D.C.) Unemployment data released today show that womenÂ’s unemployment rate rose faster than menÂ’s in May – and unemployment among women who head families rose even faster, the National WomenÂ’s Law Center (NWLC) said today. 

“TodayÂ’s data confirm that this recession is hitting both women and men hard. While menÂ’s unemployment rate is still higher than womenÂ’s, women are now losing jobs at a faster rate than men. And the unemployment rate for women who head families – who are particularly vulnerable – is surging,” said Nancy Duff Campbell, NWLC Co-President. 

NWLCÂ’s analysis of the Labor DepartmentÂ’s May unemployment data finds that:

  • Between April 2009 and May 2009, the unemployment rate among adult women rose from 7.1 percent to 7.5 percent, a one-month increase of 5.6 percent; the unemployment rate among adult men rose from 9.4 percent to 9.8 percent, a one-month increase of 4.3 percent.
  • Between April 2009 and May 2009, the unemployment rate among women who maintain families rose from 10 percent to 11 percent, a one-month increase of 10 percent (not seasonally adjusted). 

“It is vital that women have fair access to jobs and job training opportunities created by the economic recovery act passed earlier this year,” Campbell stated. “The federal government needs to ensure that recipients of recovery funds are complying with their civil rights obligations in hiring and training people for these jobs.”

To speak to an NWLC expert about what the unemployment data show about trends in economic well-being among women and their families and their implications for public policy, contact Adrienne Ammerman at 202-588-5180  


The National Women's Law Center is a non-profit organization that has been working since 1972 to advance and protect women's legal rights.  The Center focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families including economic security, education, employment and health, with special attention given to the concerns of low-income women.  For more information on the Center, visit:

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