Friday, February 6, 2009

Recession axing more men than women

The Times reports that the recession is narrowing the employment gap between men and women by resulting in more layoffs for men.

Still, BLS data (the Current Population Survey) indicate that employed men currently outnumber employed women by 7-8 million. Shares in employment have certainly narrowed over time, however, leading to a current split of about 53-47 in favor of men.

Probably more interesting are the remarks in the article about the likely strains on the household during the downturn given that unemployed men do not typically report performing household chores. Another facet of all this is the different nature of jobs held by men and women --- jobs may differ in terms of quality (wages, benefits, part-time vs. full-time), in terms of flexibility, and also in terms of stability. Is this pattern indicative of the higher tolerance for risk typically found among men?