More Women Working Now Than Before Recession

Record 67.5M women in US workforce
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2013 10:55 AM CST
Updated Nov 18, 2013 11:00 AM CST
More Women Working Now Than Before Recession
This April 4, 2012 file photo shows a job fair for college students in Manchester, NH.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

The number of women in the US workforce has hit a record 67.5 million—meaning more women are working now than were before the recession, the Wall Street Journal reports. The previous record for women was 67.4 million in 2008, Labor Department figures say; meanwhile, men haven't yet reclaimed all the jobs they lost during the crisis. Currently, 69 million men have jobs, compared to 70.9 million in 2007. The key reason for the phenomenon, per the Journal: While largely male industries including construction were hardest-hit by the recession, jobs in education, health, hospitality, and retail—sectors where women tend to work—did far better.

"The last recession and recovery really showed how segregated the labor market is," says an economist. Men lost some 6 million jobs, whereas women lost 2.7 million. The unemployment rate for women, meanwhile, was 6.9% last month; for men, it was 7.6%. But wages still aren't equal: As of last year, women were earning 76.5 cents for each dollar men made, the Commerce department says. (Read more women stories.)

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