Friday, January 8, 2010

Unemployment among women who maintain families

Institute For Women's Policy Research
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ashley English, (202)785-5100
For many, 2010 is not off to a great start

Unemployment among women who maintain families without the support of a spouse is at 13 percent
as of December 2009, the highest rate in more than 25 years, according to today's figures released by
the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics. That figure has grown by 0.8 percentage points since the IPolicy h
(September 2009) and 2.7 percentage points since January 2009. Their unemployment has nearly
doubled since the start of the recession in December 2007.

Women are currently 49.9 percent of nonfarm employees on payrolls. As more families, both dual
earner couples and single mother families, are increasingly relying on the earnings of women, greater
attention needs to be paid to pay equity. Women working full-time earned only 81 percent as much
as men who worked full-time in the third quarter of 2009.[1] These seasonally unadjusted data show
increases in married men's unemployment and decreases in married women's unemployment; the
seasonally adjusted data show a decrease in married men's unemployment from November to
December 2009 and little change for married women. (Seasonally adjusted unemployment data are
not available for women who maintain families.)

1. Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers in the third quarter of 2009
for women are $657 compared to $812 for men. (,
October 16, 2009)

Figure 1: Monthly Unemployment Rates

Table 1: Monthly Unemployment Rates


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