06.10.1311:28 AM ET

Women’s Job Numbers Show Promise

Even though recession hit them worse than men during recovery period.

Since 2010, women have trailed men in the economic recovery, but now they’re catching up, and their unemployment rate has fallen while men’s has risen. “We have seen the recovery picking up steam for women,” said Joan Entmacher, vice president of the National Women’s Law Center. The unemployment rate for women over 16 is now 7.1 percent compared to men’s 7.9 percent. While men have gained 475,000 jobs this year, women gained a nearly identical 471,000, despite making up only 47 percent of the workforce. As USA Today reports, this represents something quite new. While men were initially hardest hit by the loss of 4 million construction and manufacturing jobs during the recession, women suffered the most in the subsequent shedding of government jobs and gained far fewer jobs than men during the recovery. Still, there’s a lot of economic suffering behind the improved numbers for women, since nearly half of their job growth is in low-wage positions. Many laid-off teachers have resorted to working at fast-food restaurants, Entmacher said.