Mancession: Men lost 2 times more jobs than women from the Great Recession and have gained half as many jobs since late 2007.

It should be clear that the Great Recession took a toll on most people.  This is reflected in household incomes and savings.  But one thing that is abundantly clear is that the Great Recession took a massive toll on male employment at a rate twice that of females.  We’ll get into the charts and figures later in the article but suffice it to say that the recession didn’t hurt people equally.  Some took on the brunt of the damage.  When splitting out job losses and gains by gender, it is clear that something else was going on.  One reason for this has to do with the big losses in construction and manufacturing that tend to be heavily dominated by men.  The housing bubble imploding didn’t help in this respect.  In many ways this has been a Mancession even in the midst of a recovery that started in early 2009.

Mancession – men haven’t recovered from Great Recession

One of the more interesting points of reference is looking at total jobs lost and gained since the Great Recession hit but splitting out men and women.  Let us look at the figures:


Men lost 5.7 million jobs and women lost 2.6 million jobs.  Since late 2007 men have gained 904,000 jobs and women have gained 1,858,000 jobs (twice the rate of men).  So for nearly a decade, women are netting jobs at twice the rate of men.

This might be shrugged off as a temporary change but there is something bigger going on.  Just look at the participation rate of men in the labor force:


The participation rate of men in the labor force has been falling dramatically since the 1970s.  Women’s participation rate was moving up into the 2000s but has also moved into a similar trajectory.

This dramatic drop in the labor force participation rate has come from adding 24 million “not in the labor force” Americans since 2000:

not in labor force

The implications here are massive.  First, many households need two working adults just to get by.  The median household income is around $52,000:


Source:  Census

This pans out with data from Social Security showing that the typical American worker is making $28,000 a year:


Source:  Social Security

Lose one income and you are in a world of hurt.  And that is why you see so much frustration and anger in the U.S. today.  The middle class is now a minority and people need to get by on much less.  Men have not recovered the jobs that were lost since the Great Recession hit.  That can be problematic as we have a demographic time bomb hitting the country as well.

The Great Recession feels more like a Mancession if you were one of the 5.7 million males that lost their job during a very short period of time.

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1 Comments on this post


  1. Nichole said:

    Perhaps there are fewer and fewer job positions for men available in a service based economy whereas in previous decades we had a labor based manufacturing economy?

    This must be very frustrating for men. There are fewer of them because they are not willing to work for such low wages.

    April 7th, 2016 at 11:14 am


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