Is the man-cession finally over?

June 16, 2011

Good news, lads: things are finally looking up on the job front.

After taking a beating in the labor market during the financial crisis  — 5.2 million men saw their jobs evaporate between November 2007 and December 2009, compared to only 1.9 million for women — the tide is finally turning.

A new report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas shows that 1.7 million men have returned to the ranks of the employed since  the beginning of last year, with 686,000 men finding work in the last 12 months alone.

“Men were hit disproportionately during the recession,” says John Challenger, chief executive officer.  Indeed, some of the most gripping photos of the financial crisis showed hordes of men (and a handful of women) vacating their Manhattan offices following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 (see photo, left). “Now more of them are heading back to work, and I think in the next year we’ll see that continue.”

Mike Werch, marketing associate for job search site Indeed.com, crunched the numbers and found that male-dominated industries have seen the biggest jump in job postings in recent years.

Take transportation, for instance, which  saw a 147 percent surge in job postings from December 2009 to December 2010, closely followed by manufacturing, which jumped by 90 percent in the same time period.

But the so-called “Man-covery“, as clever news outlets like to dub it, hasn’t been so kind to women. Employment among women has only grown by 365,000 since January 2010, with the number of employed women actually dropping by 85,000 in the last 12 months.

The reason? Cost cutting  in the government sector, of which women account for nearly 60 percent of the 22 million people employed. And with mounting pressure to tackle soaring deficits, Challenger thinks it’s unlikely that the government will go on a hiring spree anytime soon.

“I think deficits are so large and there’s so much energy around cutting government that those jobs are unlikely to return in the near future,” he says. Instead, he says, both men and women will probably return in positions that are complementary to their former careers; teachers, for instance, may come back as trainers or learning directors in the corporate sector.

In the meantime, we’ll be seeing a lot less of the  Sandwich Board guy.

2 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

It is hard to feel sympathy for women employed by Government since they are 50% over-represented among those employees and among the remaining men, the majority are “minority” allies of those same women.

Active discrimination by Government is reprehensible. How about levying taxes in proportion to under or over representation among those drawing Government paychecks?

Men will continue to be disproportionately hit until someone with some power decides to give bottom 95% men equal protection and rights. It is indeed a problem.

Posted by txgadfly | Report as abusive

White males will be a minority within the next 15 years.

The deck will be stacked against them just as it was stacked against blacks, women, and other minorities in the past.

Deal with it…

Posted by bobw111 | Report as abusive