As part of the HERVotes blog carnival on women in the economy, I wanted to write something that would enlighten readers, even just a little. I’m afraid I don’t have much insight of my own, so here is information that I have found on the topic and in relation to unemployment for women.
“For women who maintain families without the support of a spouse, the unemployment rate remains much higher at 12.4 percent,” as quoted from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Sacramento Bee. It also states “Women have regained only one out of five (536,000 or 19.7 percent) of the total jobs they lost as a result of the recession” from December 2007 to September 2010.
There is too much good information for me to just quote the following articles so I highly recommend that you read them:
“The Recession Was Sexist (So Is the Recovery)” in The Atlantic
“More on Labor Force Dropouts” in The New York Times
As more than one journalist pointed out, men fell harder and faster during the recession, but they are also bouncing back faster than women. The recovery period has not been as fruitful for women, and as is quoted above, 12.4 percent of single moms (or women without a contributing partner) are unemployed. That last number haunts me, knowing several single parents whose lives are more difficult and whose earnings more important than own.
These numbers matter now more than ever because unemployment insurance for a large number of people is going to run out at the end of the month, unless Congress extends the deadline. A recent article in the Huffington Post explains the situation: "Unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless is among a raft of programs set to expire in January without congressional reauthorization." They spoke to a man who is facing the end of unemployment insurance and he called it a “truly scary situation” along with saying “It would be harmful and cruel for Congress to just walk away and turn its back on millions of hardworking unemployed Americans like me."
Not extending unemployment insurance will hurt everyone, but especially women and single moms. I know that the government can’t go on supporting people indefinitely, but in order to keep children fed and hard-working people off the street, we have to extend unemployment benefits. The economy will come back, and the recovery will reach more and more people, but some people can’t wait that long and they need our help now. Please don’t turn them away.