One of the Trump campaign's promises was to reduce unemployment. But last month's Bureau of Labor Statistics data suggest that if we have made any progress on that front, it's not benefiting everyone: 98,000 new jobs were created, and only around eight percent of jobs went to women. Just, you know, in case you were wondering whether gender inequality in jobs is still a thing. (It is. It very much is.)
As we continue to recover from the financial crisis of 2007 - 2008 and the ensuing Great Recession, economists predicted we'd see 180,000 more jobs in March 2017. 98,000 is still a net gain that reduced the unemployment rate to 4.5 percent — the lowest it's been since prior to the recession. But it could potentially mean some jobs were gained while others were lost, Jasmine Tucker, Director of Research at the National Women’s Law Center, recently told Elle. And the ones gained could be worse or lower-paying than the ones lost. The New York Times considered March's job growth to be one of the past year's smallest.
"Today’s jobs numbers show there are still challenges ahead that this administration must address," the Joint Economic Committee's top Democrat Senator Martin Heinrich told The New York Times. "President Trump promised that he would be 'the greatest jobs producer that God ever created.' Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee will hold him to this promise." Ohio Republication Representative Pat Tiberi, the committee's chairman, agreed: "The economy clearly should be generating higher job growth."
More troublingly, women saw a net gain of only 9,000 jobs, and even less work went toward more disadvantaged women. Black women were nearly twice as likely as white men to be unemployed, and single mothers were over twice as likely as married men. These disparities are compounded by the lower wages moms and women of color already receive.
While the unemployment rate is currently higher for men (at 4.6 vs 4.3 for women 16 and over), women hold more than two thirds of minimum wage jobs and make around 20 percent less money than men. So, it's important that when we're creating new jobs, women don't get left behind — or continue to just get more crappy work.