“The first wave of job losses has hit industries primarily employing women, including food service, childcare, retail, personal care, office assistance, and hospitality, where working from home is not an option. This differs from the Great Recession, during which the vast majority of job losses were among men,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior VP of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
During the Great Recession (December 2007 to June 2009), 74% of lost jobs were held by men. Men lost 6 million jobs and women lost 2.7 million jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The hardest-hit professions were in manufacturing and construction, traditionally male-dominated industries.
In the current downturn, women account for 49% of the overall U.S. workforce, but 55% of the job losses in April. In leisure and hospitality, women make up 52% of the workforce, but 54% of the April job losses; in education and health services, 77% of the workforce and 83% of the losses; and in retail, 48% of the workforce and 61% of the losses.