The recession took a toll on jobs in the traditionally male fields of manufacturing and construction, while sparing traditionally female fields of education and healthcare. However, as the economy recovers men not only are getting jobs faster than women but also are doing so by moving into female fields, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center
Men are moving into such fields as private education and the healthcare industry, which women usually dominate, while women are losing teaching and local government jobs as a result of cuts of cash-strapped municipalities, the Pew study found.
From 2007 to 2009, men experienced a much higher job loss rate than women, but since 2009, men have added 768,000 jobs while the number of jobs women hold declined by 218,000.
The numbers defy historical trends. In the aftermath of each of the past five recessions, the Pew study found that women fared better in the job market than men. Nonetheless, unemployment is still a percentage point higher for men, who represent 56 percent of the unemployed.
The downturn has pushed men out of traditional fields. Before the recession, men held about 23 percent of healthcare and education jobs but account for 39 percent of the jobs added in those fields since of 2009.
The change also is apparent in training programs. At Illinois’ Joliet Junior College, the nursing program has had a 10 percent increase in male students over the past five years and the number of men studying pharmacy technology rose 125 percent, the Washington Post reported in a story about the Pew study.
Dean Cecile Regner said many of the male students are older and have come from the construction or manufacturing fields or from the military. “Healthcare provides good jobs,” Regner told the Post. “In this economy, the fact that they are stable jobs are probably the most important thing . . . It makes it very appealing.”
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