The myth of the men-only recession and cutting budgets for growth

I was reading Bloomberg this morning, and the California jobs numbers are enough to make me take to the vermouth at 9 am. These jobs numbers are nothing less than disgusting.

55 percent of the state’s workers are employed. It’s heartbreaking.

Early on in the recession, I lost count of the the number of times I had to sit through my male colleagues discussing how “men are being especially hard hit” by the recession. I objected: we didn’t really know the relationship between gender and job loss because at the early stages of recessions (this was primarily in 2008 and somewhat later), you are likely to see predominately male job loss due to their prevalence in the workforce in construction–a leading indicator for a reason.

So as usual, I am right and they were wrong:

Job losses in local government, health care and other industries where women make up a large portion of the workforce contributed to the weak employment picture. Women have lost jobs in industries such as retail and financial services, while men in those fields gained.

“As businesses cut costs, the first thing to go is administrative support positions where women tend to work,” Anderson said.

Oh, and that whole idea that just by cutting government, you’ll create jobs jobs jobs? California has been cutting for three years and look where we are.

Happy Labor Day!

We’re in the most punishingly anti-union period I’ve ever lived through (and I never thought I’d say that after the 1980s), but today raise a glass. The free time and decent working conditions you have didn’t come to you through corporate largesse, unless you inherited your money. These benefits came to you (in part) because members of labor unions, flawed and difficult as they may be, put their bodies on the line and insisted that working conditions change. People should know who Eugene Debs was, even if they take President Wilson’s side.