Congress recently acted with uncharacteristic speed to undo the cuts to air traffic controllers implemented as part of the “sequester” (the across-the-board federal budget cuts), before flying home to their districts for a weeklong break. While making sure that the cuts did not cause them delays at the airport, they ignored the cuts that are affecting vulnerable women and children across the country. These include cuts to a range of crucial supports for families such as child care assistance and Head Start.
The National’s Women’s Law Center’s new fact sheet describes the importance of child care assistance in helping parents afford the care they need to work and support their families, and ensure their children are in safe, reliable care that fosters their learning and growth. Congress should be investing more in child care assistance, not chipping away at the help there is through arbitrary budget cuts. Read more »
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.
The sequester is looming and recent estimates have shown that it would cost 750,000 jobs in 2013 alone. These losses would ripple through the economy, including public sector workers and government contractors, workers in other sectors who support these industries, and jobs in the overall economy that are supported when public sector workers spend their paychecks. These cuts would fall heavily on public sector employees – teachers, health care workers, first responders – a sector which can ill-afford more losses.
In fact, new NWLC analysis shows that for both men and women the public sector was the ONLY major sector which lost jobs between January 2012-January 2013. The sector overall lost 74,000 jobs in the last year, 63,000 of which – over 85 percent – were women’s jobs. Read more »