Why Women Are So Down on Their Job Prospects

Why Women Are So Down on Their Job Prospects

It's true that the job market hasn't give us much reason to celebrate over the past few years. But the recent September and October jobs reports offered at least a small glimmer of hope, as the unemployment rate stayed below 6% for the first time since the summer of 2008.

These are viewed by experts as signs that a tepid recovery is underway. Unfortunately, workers themselves aren't feeling too enthusiastic—and women, especially, don't see blue skies ahead.

New Gallup research finds that Americans in general are down on the economy, but there’s a noticeable gap between how confident men and women are in their job prospects: 56% of men believe now is a bad time to find a job, compared with 64% of women.

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So what’s driving women’s pessimism across the country?

The Gallup researchers suggest it has a lot to do with the wage gap, or the fact that women still generally get paid less than men for the same position. The problem is that when women feel the odds are against them at work, they may be less likely to petition for a raise or a promotion—which, in turn, only further exacerbates the gender wage gap.

One bit of backup for this theory lies in the response of Canadian men and women. There, both genders were equally pessimistic about their job prospects, with 48% each saying now was a bad time to look for a job. The country has a narrower wage gap than in America since passing the Pay Equity Act in 1987.

Regardless of your gender, the overarching sentiment is that looking for a job is tough these days. Here are some tips to jumpstart your job hunt, or check out our guide to asking for a raise—and actually scoring one.

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