If you've watched the news at all over the last few months, you've probably heard the term 'mancession,' the nickname given to the current financial recession because the overwhelming majority of jobs lost thus far were held by men.
But a new report, released today by the Joint Economic Committee, took a closer look at how the economy is affecting women, particularly mothers. The report, entitled Working Mothers in the Great Recession, found that from December 2007 to April 2010, women lost 46 jobs for every 100 jobs lost by men. (By comparison, during the 2001 recession, women lost 17 jobs for every 100 lost by men and women lost less than two jobs for every 100 jobs lost by men during the 1990s recession.)
And alarmingly, the report found that whereas during the bulk of the recession job losses were overwhelmingly male, as the economy begins to recover, the trend is reversing. According to the report, "as job losses slowed in the final months of 2009, women continued to lose jobs as men found employment."
But even women who've been able to hold onto their jobs have found been hit hard by the economy in ways they never anticipated. Many single moms have found that their ex-spouses are out of work and no longer able to make child support payments, making these moms the sole providers for all of their children's financial needs.
Another problem for working women is what the report terms the "part-time penalty," meaning those in part-time work often earn far less per hour than their full-time counterparts in the same occupation. They also tend to pay higher rates for childcare and have less access to job perks like health benefits or tenure.
Here's the report's conclusion:
"Families depend on women's earnings. Mothers' work is vital not only for their families' economic security, but also for the strength of the American economy as a whole. Understanding and addressing the impact of the Great Recession on mothers is a crucial piece of the economic recovery."
In other words, the 'mancession' has become a 'momcession.'