Here’s a highlight for you in the release of last month’s jobs data: in April, adult women’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in more than four years. That’s right, the last time unemployment was this low was in the first months of 2009.
But hey there, hold your horses. Don’t get too excited yet!
So what else stands out in today’s jobs report? Here’s what caught my eye as we crunched the numbers for today’s NWLC analysis:
6.7 percent: This represents the good. Unemployment rates continue to fall, and women’s unemployment rate hit a four-year low last month at 6.7 percent. In April, adult men’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly, while the overall unemployment rate fell ever so slightly, also to a four-year low. Overall, we’re doing better, but we’re gaining jobs at a crushingly slow pace, especially compared to earlier recoveries.
Today’s release of February jobs data brought pretty good news – 236,000 jobs added to the economy and the overall unemployment rate dropped slightly to 7.7 percent. Unfortunately we still have a long way to go.
The overall story in February was good, but women only gained one-third of the jobs added last month. The economy added 236,000 jobs between January and February, only 80,000 of which went to women.
Public sector losses continued in February. Both women and men lost public sector jobs in February, bringing the total number of public sector jobs lost over the recovery to 462,000 for women and 280,000 for men.
Unemployment rates fell for adult women and men, but still remain unacceptably high. Adult women’s and men’s unemployment rates fell in February – to 7.0 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively. While these rates are an improvement since the recession began in December 2007, they still aren’t very good when put in historical context: apart from this recession, adult women have not seen unemployment rates above 7 percent in nearly 30 years – for men it is over 20.
National Girls and Women’s Sports Day is a day to celebrate all the successes that girls and women have had so far, but it’s also a day to think about the obstacles we face. One of those is the lack of data surrounding girls in high school athletics – so I sat down with our own Title IX expert, Neena Chaudry, and our data whiz, Kate Gallagher Robbins, to get a better understanding about what we’re missing.
Becka: When I e-mailed Kate to talk about sitting together to chat, she joked, “I could do the interview right now – in short, we need more data!” What is the number one aspect you each wish you had more data on?
Neena: I have a list! But the number one thing I wish we had was data for each individual school. Only some schools have data available from the U.S. Department of Education, but many don’t. I’d love to get participation rates broken down by sub= groups – particularly to see the numbers of girls of color on high school teams.
Kate: I would really love to dive even deeper and get some individual-level data. The school has the numbers – how many girls who are playing sports are also taking AP Classes, et cetera. More detail would help us determine some interesting correlations and where the gaps are.
Neena: Could we get that? Aren’t there privacy concerns?
Kate: There’s a way to do it while respecting privacy – it would be a different data set. Information about the individual, but without any specifics – for example, Becka would be student number 379 in this region of the country, and I would know that she played lacrosse and took AP Literature, but if I met Becka, I would have no idea she was student number 379.
Becka: Gotcha – so a deep level of anonymous detail.