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The real estate bubble in 2008 was brutal for people like my father, who worked in construction. His home business, like so many of his colleagues, was dry months before the financial crisis was in full swing. That is why the Great Recession, which led to mass unemployment among men in these areas, was referred to as "manzession".
To some extent, the opposite is true during our current economic upheaval: women are more likely to lose their jobs than men. The unemployment rate for women rose from 3.4% in February to 16.2% in April, compared to an increase from 3.6% to 13.5% for men. This unemployment rate for women has since dropped to 11.7% in June, but is still above the 10.6% rate for men in the same month.
Not only are women more likely to lose their jobs, they are also more afraid of losing their jobs. 49% of women workers are worried about losing their jobs, compared to 35% of men. Fortune SurveyMonkey survey of 2,802 adults in the U.S. between July 17-21 *
Just as 2008 shook areas such as construction and production dominated by men, the pandemic and downtimes hit women's heavy industries such as tourism, retail, education and healthcare. Some of them, like tourism, are unlikely to fully recover for years. For many women, unemployment can likely be long-term.
* Methodology: The Fortune SurveyMonkey survey was conducted between July 17th and 21st among a national sample of 2,802 adults in the United States. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The results were weighted by age, race, gender, education and geography.
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