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Recovery from the 'mancession' leading to discrimination for women

In some circles, the recent recession is referred to as the "mancession." This is because American men suffered from uncharacteristic levels of unemployment at the height of the latest economic downturn. However, it seems that it is female workers who may be suffering from a certain level of gender discrimination in hiring as the recovery process moves forward.

A recent article published in The Nation indicates that "Since the beginning of the recovery (June 2009), men experienced more than quadruple the job gains made by women. This can at least be partially explained by the fact that men were climbing back from low employment levels, plus massive layoffs in some areas, such as education, where women hold the majority of jobs."

However, a recent study suggests that these factors are not the only elements currently influencing the hiring of women in the American workforce. The study, which was authored by experts from the University of Washington and the University of Alberta, indicates that since the start of recovery, mothers in particular are experiencing longer lag time than married men in securing a job. In addition, their wages are decreasing from previous employment when their new positions are finally secured.

What can account for this discrepancy? One of the authors explains that mothers in particular are being barred from equal access to the workforce, while married fathers in particular are enjoying a hiring bump across the board. Hiring discrimination can be hard to spot, hard to prove and hard to combat. But this most recent study indicates that there is work to be done in solving a widespread discrimination problem against mothers in today's recovering job market.

Source: The Nation, "For Some Women, Discrimination Prevents Return to Work," Bryce Covert, Aug. 21, 2012

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