Reclaiming Common Sense

Fewer Men were Working FT During Dec 2017 than July 2007

There was a "War on Women" that was in the spotlight during the run-up to the 2012 election. Unfortunately, this column had not started publishing its articles on the differences between men and women in the workforce. The real war has been a "War on Men." The December Jobs Report was good, better data than December 2016, it just wasn't reported as such.

Fewer Men are Working Full-time than were working full-time during July 2007.  This is not a typographical error. Men had been struggling to recover from the Obama Recession. There were 10.6 million fewer men working full-time jobs during January 2010 than there were during July 2007, the peak, pre-recession jobs level. There are nearly 12 million more male workers in the workforce than were present during July 2007.

Women Recovered Faster and had Added More Full-time Jobs and More Part-time Jobs than Men. Women have added 3 million full-time jobs while men have lost 238,000 jobs. Women had added 1.5 million part-time jobs while men have added 2 million part-time jobs. Women had added 12.6 million workers to the workforce population while men have added 11.6 million workers.  Net-Net: Women are winning. Also, there are more potential workers being created than there are jobs being created. This is a problem. An oversupply of workers keeps wages low. Low wages keep potential workers on the side-lines.

Men are Participating less this December than they did during 2006, 2007, 2008, or any December since that time. There was improvement in July Male Participation during 2016. Was this election related participation? What we know is that there are sectors of the economy that have not fully recovered from the Great Recession, as of last month, and those sectors are Construction, Mining and Logging, Information Technology, and Manufacturing. These are male dominated industries. This column will dig into the Super Sector Data later this month. Women are participating at a higher rate this December than they were during December 2014, 2016, and 2016. They are recovering.

What is the true unemployment rate? The "official" unemployment rate is the seasonally adjusted U-3 unemployment rate. The drop in the national participation rate is deflating the real unemployment rate. There are people who are neither employed nor counted as unemployed. These are missing participants. These missing participants are effectively unemployed. The non-seasonally adjusted U-3 unemployment rate for men is 4.16% and 3.66% for women. The participation rate for men has dropped from 72.81% to 68.53% for men and from 59.46% to 56.72% for women. The participation rate is based on the population. The unemployment rate is based on those working full-time and part-time jobs or are unemployed. If you calculate the missing participants based on the two participation rate you will find that there are more "missing participants" than there are unemployed workers.

This is not the first time that there have been fewer men working full-time jobs during the Winter of the current year than during the Summer of 2007. There was a similar expansion and contraction last Winter. Men work seasonal jobs more than women, according to the data. Women recovered all of their lost full-time jobs during 2015. They lost fewer jobs so it was "easier" for them to recover those lost jobs. The good news is that more men are working full-time jobs than were working full-time jobs during 2007. The Jobs recession started during 2007 and picked up speed during 2008. There are more women working full-time jobs than were working full-time jobs during December 2007. Men and women are both working more part-time jobs

Women work more part-time jobs than men. Men work more full-time jobs than Women.  If you examine the tables you can see that Men are working 71.5 million full-time jobs compared to the 545.5 million full-time jobs for women. Women work 17.8 million part-time jobs compared to the 9.8 million part-time jobs that men are working. Is part of the wage gap between men and women being created by a gap in full-time and a gap in part-time jobs?

There is a problem that is being ignored in our economy. The "War on Women" is actually a "War on Men." Men may have to enter female dominated sectors of the economy. We may need to find a way to stimulate manufacturing jobs, construction jobs, mining and logging jobs, and IT jobs. If people do not recognize a problem then they cannot fix it.

It's the economy.