Working women have received pink slips in growing numbers over the course of the current recession, which began in December 2007. For the first 3 months of the recession, when job losses were relatively light, women actually gained rather than lost jobs. This uptick in women’s employment is similar to what has happened in previous recessions. However, in August 2008, this recession began to look quite different from past downturns. Women’s job losses picked up pace to become a significant fraction of the total monthly job losses.
As women’s job losses have accelerated, so have the job losses for working mothers. A Joint Economic Committee analysis of published and unpublished data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that increases in unemployment during this recession have been especially steep for female heads of household – mothers who are solely responsible for maintaining their families’ economic security.