Do these generalizations apply to Oregon's labor market? We can examine the changes in Oregon's employment by gender through the recession and recovery by taking a closer look at the employment dynamics data for men and women over the last few years. Local employment dynamics data provides quarterly employment numbers by type of business ownership, industry, and gender.
During the first quarter of 2011, all stable employment rose by 8,400 jobs compared with the first quarter of 2010. Men ages 14 to 99 saw an increase of nearly 9,100 jobs over the year, while employment for women declined by 700 jobs. In privately owned firms, men saw a net increase of 8,400 jobs, while women lost nearly 500 jobs. State and local government employment showed a year-over-year gain of 700 jobs for men, while women netted a loss of 200 jobs.
This is a change from the trend in previous years. The Great Recession began in December 2007. During the first quarter of 2008 - the first full quarter of the recession - the data show job growth for both men and women. However the gains from the previous year were more modest for men (3,200 jobs) than for women (12,400) in Oregon. By the first quarter of 2009, both genders had experienced dramatic year-over-year job losses. Men fared far worse than women, losing 43,700 stable jobs (-6%) compared with the women's decline of 10,900 (-1%).
Although the roles have reversed, women saw a greater decline in private employment than state and local employment between the first quarters of 2010 and 2011. And while men have seen an improvement in employment numbers, they're still facing a much larger employment deficit. Between the first quarters of 2007 and 2011, men have seen a net loss of 53,200 stable jobs, while women experienced a decline of 14,900. While looking at different quarters changes the numbers slightly, the trend remains the same: men lost the most stable jobs during the recession but are now seeing a better bounce back compared with women.
It is worth noting that a drop in stable employment doesn't necessarily translate to a decline in overall employment. If a stable job ended in the first quarter of 2011, it could be because that worker accepted a job offer with a new employer in the middle of the quarter. The stable employment relationship would be broken in this case, but that worker was still employed.
In the first quarter of 2008, workers between the ages of 14 and 18 saw a decline of 2 percent in stable jobs from the previous year. At the same time, the 55 to 64 and 65 to 99 age groups experienced year-over-year gains of 5 percent and 8 percent, respectively. That doesn't seem unreasonable; student-aged workers may naturally experience less stable employment compared with older age groups due to school and extra-curricular commitments. As the recession progressed though, these younger workers certainly took a disproportionate hit in stable jobs relative to their more experienced counterparts.
In the first quarter of 2009, nearly all age categories saw job losses over the year. The worst of these occurred for the 14 to 18 age category (-15%). Meanwhile, employment rose by 1 percent over the year for those ages 55 to 64, and remained flat for workers ages 65 to 99. By the first quarter of 2010, year-over-year job declines reached 22 percent for those ages 14 to 18. The next-highest losses occurred for workers ages 19 to 24 (-5%). The bulk of the working population, those ages 25 to 54, mirrored the overall trend for all workers with a decline of 3 percent over the year. The 55 to 64 and 65 to 99 age categories fared much better than the rest; stable jobs increased by 2 percent each for these two groups over the period.
Interested in more data by gender, age, industry, or county? You can find it in our Quarterly Workforce Indicators tool (http://www.qualityinfo.org/olmisj/qwi) at QualityInfo.