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Workplace Issues Today: Women may make up majority of workforce as layoffs disproportionately affect men

The global economic recession may have an interesting consequence: women could make up a majority of America’s workforce for the first time in history. The financial crisis, which spurred widespread layoffs across a broad range of industries, has incidentally affected men more. In fact, 82% of job cuts have impacted men, particularly in manufacturing and construction sectors. Women more heavily populate positions in health care and education, which are less sensitive to economic cycles. The data suggests that the recession could challenge gender roles, as women shift to the role of main breadwinner. However, women still tend to worker fewer hours or hold part-time jobs, are less likely to receive health benefits, are paid less on average than men, and are still likely to be responsible for child care duties at home.

See As Layoffs Surge, Women May Pass Men in Job Force,” by Catherine Rampell, The New York Times, Feb 06 2009 (KBT)

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