The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs report this morning, revealing that the American economy added 120,000 jobs. Though the number was lower than in previous months, it marked the 25th consecutive month that the private sector added jobs. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, dropped to 8.2 percent, in part because the labor force participation rate (which measures how many people are seeking employment) fell.
As former Department of Labor chief economist Betsey Stevenson noted on Twitter, female workers accounted for the entire drop in labor force participation:
Declines in labor force participation all came from women: Male particpation +14K, Female particpation -177K
— Betsey Stevenson (@BetseyStevenson) April 6, 2012
The overall drop in the rate is attributable to a number of factors, including a decline in the number of new immigrants to the United States and an increase in retirements from the Baby Boomer generation. Still, it’s another example of how the Great Recession has shifted from the “mancession” it once was into one that has had a greater effect on women. Since the end of the recession, 88 percent of jobs have gone to men, and while the unemployment rate for men has declined, it has stagnated for women, dropping just 0.1 percent in three years.