Only 38.6% of Jobs Added Under Obama Have Gone to Women

By Terence P. Jeffrey | April 4, 2014 | 1:38pm EDT

(AP File Photo/Charles Dharapak)

( - Since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, the U.S. economy has employed an additional 3,590,000 people, but only 1,386,000 of those people—or 38.6 percent--have been women.

At the same time, women represent 46.8 percent of the national civilian labor force. That means women are getting a smaller share of the jobs being added to the economy (38.6 percent) than their representation in the civilian labor force (46.8 percent).

The percentage of the added jobs that have gone to women is even smaller if measured from the post-recession nadir of employment, which took place in December 2009. Since then, only 37.8 percent of the net additional jobs have gone to women.

ype="node" title="Jobs Added for Women

The civilian labor force includes all people in the United States 16 or older who are not on active duty in the military, or in an institution such as a nursing home, prison, or mental hospital and who either have a job or have actively sought one in the last four weeks. As of March, the civilian labor force totaled 156,227,000. This included 83,052,000 (or 53.2 percent) men and 73,175,000 (or 46.8 percent) women.

In January 2009, the month President Obama was first inaugurated, there were 142,152,000 people employed in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of March 2014, there were 145,742,000—a net increase of 3,590,000 people employed.

The number of additional males employed between January 2009 and March 2014 was 2,204,000—or 61.4 percent—of the total. The number of additional females employed was 1,386,000—or 38.6% of the total.

ype="node" title="Women as Percentage of the Labor Force

The last recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. In the wake of that recession, employment hit a low of 138,013,000 in December 2009. The 145,742,000 who were employed as of March was 7,729,000 above that December 2009 low.

Of that 7,729,000 increase in people employed since the post-recession employment nadir, approximately 62.2 percent were men and 37.8 percent were women.

When President George W. Bush took office in January 2001, there were 137,778,000 people employed in the United States. Eight years later in January 2009, when Bush left office, there were 142,152,000. Of the 4,374,000 additional people employed during Bush’s full two terms, 1,518,000—or 34.7 percent—were men, and 2,855,000—or 65.3 percent—were women.

However, women did not have the advantage in getting the jobs added during the period between January 2001 when Bush first took office and March 2006 (which is equal in duration to the current span Obama has been in office).

During that shorter period—which preceded the recession that began in December 2007—more net jobs were added (5,963,000) than during Bush’s full term (4,374,000). Of those 5,963,000 jobs, 3,624,000—or 60.8 percent—went to men, and 2,339,000—or 39.2 percent went to women.

In the remainder of Bush's administration, from March 2006 through January 2009, employment declined by 1,589,000. However, while the number of men employed during that era of the Bush administration decreased by 2,106,000, the number of women employed actually increased by 516,000.

Since 2000, the labor force participation rate for women has been declining. (The labor force participation rate is the percentage of people 16 or older who are not on active duty in the military or in an institutution who either have a job or actively sought one in the last four weeks.)

In January 1948, when BLS started tracking the labor force participation rate, 32.0 percent of noninstitutionalized women 16 or older were in the labor force. That climbed to an all-time high 60.3 percent in April 2000. By January 2009, it had dropped to 59.4 percent. By this March, it had dropped to 57.2 percent.

The labor force participation rate for men has generally been declining since February 1952, when it was 87.0 percent. By January 2000, it was 75.1 percent. By January 2009, it was 72.4 percent. In March, it was 69.6 percent.

MRC Store