Seattle, WA - In Washington and across the country, far more men have
lost jobs than women, and it's a situation that has reversed the role
of "breadwinner," even in the most traditional families. The main
reason is that jobs filled mostly by men are in some of the hardest-hit
industries, like manufacturing and construction. Those two categories
alone have shed 54-thousand Washington jobs in the past year.
Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Economic Opportunity
Institute, says the result is two very different unemployment rates.
"Men in Washington State had an unemployment rate of 10.8 percent in
June - and for women, it was 7.3 percent. That's a big difference. Two
years ago, there was virtually no difference and of course, it was
quite a bit lower then, about four and a half percent."
One concern about this trend, says Watkins, is that women's average
monthly pay in Washington is only 64 percent of men's, so in many
families, the person still working is likely to be the one bringing in
"Of course, most families are dependent on all adults in the family
bringing home some income. So, anybody's job loss is gonna hurt. But
unfortunately, what we're seeing is, it's the higher-paid worker who
typically is losing their job, in our economy right now."
Watkins believes women make less than men, partly because they are more
likely to work part-time or in lower-paying industries that offer fewer
benefits, although she says pay discrimination is still a factor. She
predicts it will take the state at least two years to recover from the
EOI released a report, Washington's Working Women - Not Equal Yet, in March. Find it online at .