Report: It Wasn't Just a 'Mancession'

By Jocelyn Noveck, AP National Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — They've called it the "Mancession" — a recession that's affected men disproportionately, because of its brutal impact on male-dominated sectors like construction and manufacturing.

But that term rings hollow to women like Sara Wade, an Illinois schoolteacher who became the sole supporter of two school-aged children — possibly for good, she fears — when her ex-husband, a carpenter and contractor, stopped paying child support 15 months ago.

Or to Martha Gonzalez, a divorced mother of three in Texas who had to take a second, part-time job when her work in real estate became scarcer. She lost her benefits, too, and for the first time in her adult working life, has no health insurance.

Or to Angela Grice, single mom of a 3-year-old son, who cobbles together two low-paying, part-time jobs while she tries to get an accounting degree that will lead to some stability for her and her son.

Concerned about women like these, a congressional committee has issued a report, timed for Mother's Day, outlining the adverse impact the recession has had on working women — especially on mothers, and particularly single moms. A copy was provided to The Associated Press ahead of its Monday release.

Strikingly, the report, by the Joint Economic Committee, finds that whereas during the bulk of the recession job losses were overwhelmingly male, as the economy edged toward recovery, the trend began reversing.

"As job losses slowed in the final months of 2009, women continued to lose jobs as men found employment," says the report, based on the committee's analysis of data from the Bureau of labor Statistics, including unpublished data. Specifically, from October 2009 to March 2010, women lost 22,000 jobs while men gained 260,000, it says. It adds: "April's strong employment growth showed women gained 86,000 jobs last month, far fewer than the 204,000 jobs gained by men."

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