According to the April employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth overall improved at a slower pace in March compared to the previous month, with 88,000 jobs added to nonfarm payrolls.
In the last year, from March 2012 to March 2013, of the 1.9 million jobs added to payrolls, 49 percent were filled by women. The gap between women's and men's employment is 1.8 million jobs in March, substantially less than at the start of the recession (3.4 million jobs in December 2007).
Women's employment growth in March was aided by growth in education and health services (28,000 jobs) and professional and business services (11,000 jobs). However, women lost 12,000 jobs in manufacturing in March.
IWPR analysis of the BLS payroll data shows that, as of March, women have regained 77 percent (2.1 million) of the total jobs they lost in the recession from December 2007 to the trough for women's employment in September 2010 (2.7 million). Men have regained over 63 percent (3.8 million) of the jobs they lost between December 2007 and the trough for men's employment in February 2010 (6 million).
According to the household survey data reported by the BLS, the unemployment rate for women aged 16 and older decreased to 7.6 percent in March from 7.7 percent in February, while the unemployment rate for men decreased from 7.8 percent to 7.6 percent. Among single mothers, the unemployment rate was 10.7 percent in March compared to 11.0 percent in February. As of March, 11.7 million workers remain unemployed.
There has been improvement over the past year in the average (mean) number of weeks spent unemployed and looking for work from 39.5 weeks in March 2012 to 37.1 weeks in March 2013. However, the average duration of unemployment was longer in March than in February when the mean was 36.9 weeks and the median was 17.8 weeks.
The Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies.