Thu 9 Oct 2008
The Economic Double Whammy to Women
Mass layoff events hit a record high in August. On Sept. 23, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 1,777 firms laying off 50 or more workers. The three job categories most seriously affected were temporary service workers, school and employee bus drivers, and professional association workers. These three occupations employ far more women than they do men. Unfortunately for women, the usual policy response to rising unemployment won’t help them much because this spending does not create jobs in the sectors where women work.
Fiscal stimulus to rev up the economic engine works. But the labor market is drastically different than it was in the 30 years following WWII. Fiscal policies during the so-called golden age of capitalism were responsible for the increases in men’s wages, rising productivity and rapid economic growth. Today, in contrast, most women work for pay outside the home. So attention must be paid to crafting a stimulus package that will directly increase jobs for women.
Reality-based economists have long argued that financial regulation is necessary for stability in the economic sectors where goods and services are actually produced and where the vast majority of jobs are located. Reality does not seem to extend to gender, however, as economists still offer policy responses that take no notice of gender differences in economic behaviors and/or outcomes. We must demand fiscal policies relevant to women’s economic positions.
Go to Broad Bytes, the blog of Women’s Enews to continue reading this piece.