Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Unemployment rates by gender in Oregon

Recently our staff members have fielded several questions about unemployment rates for Oregon workers beyond the standard geographical (statewide, metropolitan, and county) jobless rates we publish each month. One such question deals with unemployment by gender.

Here is an interesting update on unemployment trends for men and women in Oregon:

Prior to the Great Recession, male and female workers in Oregon faced roughly the same unemployment rate (5.1% and 5.2% respectively in 2007). While the rate for men spiked upward to 7.4 percent in 2008 and 13.3 percent in 2009, women experienced less rapid unemployment growth. The ladies' average annual unemployment rate rose to 5.4 percent in 2008 and 9.4 percent in 2009. This disparity did not escape the attention of the Oregon Employment Department (additional details in the fall 2009 article "Whose Recession is it Anyway?").

In our recent look at the updated numbers, we found that an interesting change occurred from 2009 to 2010. The unemployment rate for Oregon men dropped by 1.0 percentage point to 12.3 percent. Meanwhile, the jobless rate for women continued to rise, reaching 9.7 percent. This trend extends beyond Oregon, and it's also grabbing attention, with recent headlines such as this article in the Daily Caller.

For more information on unemployment rates by gender, race, ethnicity, or age category, check the local area unemployment tables on the BLS website.

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