The recent recession has hit men so much harder than women that it became known as the “mancession.” Nevertheless the Obama administration was focused on the struggles women were facing during these tough economic times.
The National Economic Council released “Jobs and Economic Security for America’s Women,” highlighting the growing role women play in the economy and promoting the initiatives the Obama administration had launched to boost women’s economic prospects. At the same time, President Obama met with women voters in Seattle to discuss their job prospects and his initiatives to support them in the slowly recovering economy.
Did the administration miss the fact that men were the ones suffering disproportionally from the recession? Unlikely. Rather, the Obama administration was wooing women voters to vote for Democrats this past midterm election. But the wooing didn’t work. 48 percent of women voted for Republicans in the past election, effectively closing the political gender gap.
Women don’t need special treatment from the government to recover from the recession. Bloomberg reports that women are recovering faster in the mancession’s aftermath, and that women are also set on a course to improve their economic prospects even further, because the new economy is bound to grow the most in those sectors currently dominated by women:
Women will rebound from the U.S. recession before men because females didn’t lose as many jobs as males did during the recession, the report said. Some of the industries most affected by the economy, such as manufacturing and construction, had more male than female workers. The unemployment rate for women, 8.9 percent, compared with 10.6 percent for men, is the widest it’s ever been, the report said. The overall unemployment rate was 9.8 percent in November.
Females make up the majority of the workforce in 9 of the 10 occupations that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts will add the most jobs over the next 8 years, the note said.
“There’s a gradual shift to a service economy, industries like healthcare and education, which are traditionally dominated by women,” said Harris in a telephone interview today.
Many women neither need nor want hand-outs and special treatments from government. They want policies that advance solid economic growth that benefit men and women alike. As we transition into the new year and into the 112th Congress, it would serve the administration well to take a close look at IWF’s Agenda for Women which argues that the government ought to dedicate itself to promoting sustainable economic growth and limiting government’s burden on the private sector. These are the policies voters this past midterm election cared most about.