This past year I have observed the growing use of a new word to describe the recession - "mancession" - a neologism the New York Times blog Economix has adopted to describe the phenomenon of an unprecedented growing gap between male and female unemployment rates. (I could find no earlier attribution or source for the term, but invite you word mavens out there to find one.) According to the latest from the Bureau of Labor Stats,"the gap in the male-to-female jobless rate is at a record high: 2.4 percent — 10 percent for men and 7.6 percent for women."
I don't really like the term mancession, and offer "sheconomy" as an alternative view that accurately describes women's labor force participation in occupations that are not as hard hit by the recession.
Dr. Mark J. Perry, a professor of economics and finance in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan writes about the "mancession" on his blog Carpe Diem: where he illustrates the alarming spike in number of unemployed men compared to unemployed women with this graph:
Catherine Rampell of the Economix blog tells us "that recession has disproportionately hurt men, who are more likely to work in cyclically sensitive industries like manufacturing and construction. Women, on the other hand, are overrepresented in more downturn-resistant sectors like education and health care."
Many unemployed men continue to be unable to find any work at all, let alone work with compensation comparable to their last position. A mancession doesn't really refer to the recession, but more literally describes the cessation of employment of many men. More economists, workforce professionals and bloggers are beginning to understand the severity of this problem. It is a rapid, complex shift in the gender make up of the U.S. workforce and this news is coming at us way too fast.
Contributor Lewis Humphreys leads the Corporation For A Skilled Workforce's community transformation initiatives in the Southwestern U.S.