If you have been paying attention to job figures of late you know there is a mixed bag of results, especially if you look at the job gains and losses based upon gender. There is a divide that is reflected differently depending on where you are in the country. An article in the USA Today on July 7th, Men are gaining more jobs than women in recovery, revealed a big gender gap in the job outlook for men and women. According to the article:
Since the end of the recession in June 2009, men have gained 768,000 jobs while women have lost 218,ooo…. that is the first time men have fared better than women in the first two years of a recovery sind the late 1960’s. “
There are a number of factors to explain this, such as a larger available labor pool of men than women, however, the primary reason is the difference in the industries employee men versus women. Manufacturing, which traditonally employees more men, is having a resurgence while state and local governments, a stronghold for women, are having budget problems and are reducing their workforces in large numbers. However, even the retail sector, typically a stronghold for women has shed 165,000 women and added 159,000 men. This is most likely due to the type of retail growth. Women have added jobs in the professional and business services category at 214,000 jobs but lagged behind men who gained 502,000.
However, this gender divide is not the same across the country. In my home state of Georgia the scales still remain tipped in favor of women, in so much as unemployment in men is still triple that of unemployment in women. Last year men made up 58% of the unemployed in Georgia. Women are losing jobs at a slower rate than men. Unfortunately Georgia does not seem to be enjoying the signs of recovery that other areas of the south seem to be experiencing.
These gender differences in employment are at the macro level. Companies have to be careful not to take them to heart and try to “rectify unemployment” by their efforts. Hiring on the company level still needs to be done on a non-discriminatory basis, and paying attention ONLY to the candidates qualifications to do the job. Other considerations, such as gender, length of unemployment, and sad stories will do nothing but get you into trouble as an employer. Do NOT fall prey to those temptations.
As distressing as the situation is here in the Atlanta metro area there is a program to hire people that does appear to working. It is a success story that can be used as a model for other metro areas. I will highlight it tomorrow.