Lately, life has been pretty good for American women. The traditional wage gap is decreasing, more women are earning college degrees than their male counterparts, and women are largely regarded as people who can make valuable contributions to society (who knew?). Now for the latest: in the last year, women have been hit hardest by the recession—try not to faint from the shock.
Blue-Collar Business Is Booming
According to the New York Times, this year brought about one million jobs for men, while women have lost about 300,000 jobs so far. Why the inequity? This one can’t be blamed on the patriarchy: it’s actually due to the fact that a disproportionately large fraction of the workforce in construction and manufacturing is male, and this is where the job market is picking back up. Most women (by the numbers, not common perception) hold white-collar jobs—the kind that are still in short supply.
The Educated And Employed Experience Diluted Effects
Those with jobs, whether male or female, are incredibly fortunate and benefitting from their good fortune. The Times paints a new picture of our current economy, declaring that the employed population are receiving appropriate pay raises, and that the most highly-educated cohort lack a real conception of the gravity of the recession, due to the fact that they’re being hired and retaining their jobs.
Wait For The Cavalry
In sum, the recession still rages on. Blue-collar fields are experiencing job creation and those posts are quickly filled by men. Highly-educated workers are having less trouble finding and keeping coveted white-collar positions. Those holding jobs are compensated appropriately. If you’re a woman with a white-collar job, count your blessings. In fact, if you have a job at all, consider yourself lucky—despite the commute, the florescent lighting, and that creepy guy in I.T., you’re holding the fort for the rest of us. Stand firm.