Atlanta, Georgia (WiredPRNews.com) — Women have been effected by the economic downturn specifically in the areas of the workforce they contribute to, according to a Congressional study being released today that follows the women’s story through the end of 2007.
Women are being afflicted on a large scale by the same troubles as men: downturns, layoffs, outsourcing, stagnant wages or the discouraging prospect of an outright pay cut. This is now occurring after they have successfully moved into every occupation available. They are responding as men have, by dropping out or disappearing for a while.
“When we saw women starting to drop out in the early part of this decade, we thought it was the motherhood movement, women staying home to raise their kids,” Heather Boushey, a senior economist at the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, which did the Congressional study, said in an interview. “We did not think it was the economy, but when we looked into it, we realized that it was.”
For the first time since the women’s movement came to life, an economic recovery has come and gone, and the percentage of women at work has fallen, not risen, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Each of the seven previous recoveries since 1960 ended with a greater percentage of women at work than when it began.
The proportion of women holding jobs in their prime working years, 25 to 54, peaked at 74.9 percent in early 2000 as the technology investment bubble was about to burst. Eight years later, in June, it was 72.7 percent, a seemingly small decline, but those 2.2 percentage points erase more than 12 years of gains for women. Four million more women in their prime years would be employed today if the old pattern had prevailed through the expansion that is now ending.
The pattern is roughly similar among the well-educated and the less educated, among the married and never married, among mothers with teenage children and those with children under 6, and among white women and black.
Contributing Reporter: Susan Nefzger – Atlanta Web PR Consultant