Women Hold Half of U.S. Jobs

A few excerpts from “In Downturn’s Wake, Women Hold Half of U.S. Jobs” by Kelley Evans in the WSJ.

In 1970, women held 35% of jobs and in December 2007, 48.7%. As of September, women held 49.9% of the nation’s jobs. Unemployment for men, 11.4%; women, 8.8%.

Arlie Hochschild, a Berkely prof, says that for many households it used be that “She worked because she wanted to. Now, she’s working because she has to.”

Evans reports that across the country enrollment is rising at day-care centers and after-school programs, a factor many attribute in part to the increase in working moms.

Stephanie Coontz, an Evergreen prof, speculates that the shift in spousal roles in some families could have a lasting impact. “The silver lining here may be that men now get a little more experience under their belt in terms of actually being the experts at home. When the economy recovers, we may find a little boost towards men and women sharing these roles.”

“I enjoy being a positive role model for my children,” says one mother who has gone back to work, “but I can’t sneak off and have coffee or lunch with a friend-even my parents I don’t see as much of as I did.”

Evans’s article reminded me of one of my very first blog entries, titled Social Transformation, from January 2008.

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