The Male-Female Unemployment Gap

December 7th, 2011 by 

One interesting side effect of recessions since the 1980s has been the demographic breakdown in unemployment rates.  Yes - recently, unemployment discriminates against men.  While recessions in the 60s and 70s saw female unemployment rates increase faster than male rates, the current recession saw age 20+ male unemployment peak at 10.7% (in October 2009, SA) while the female 20+ rate peaked at 8.3% (in November 2009, SA).

And today?  In November 2011, 20+ year old males had a 8.3% unemployment rate while females had an 7.8% rate. Choosing the 20+ bracket eliminates some of the problems with the teen unemployment rate.

(Data from St. Louis Fed)

Is the gap persistent?  Probably not, at least during the good times - but what is causing the spread during every recession?

Here's one for you - do you think it has anything to do with the fact that females are better educated than males in aggregate?  Note that in 2010 the ratio of females to males in college was 1.4 to 1 in the United States. Coincidence? Tell me what you think in the comments!



PK started DQYDJ in 2009 to research and discuss finance and investing and help answer financial questions. He's expanded DQYDJ to build visualizations, calculators, and interactive tools.

PK is in his mid-30s and works and lives in the Bay Area with his wife, two kids, and dog.

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