Bryce Covert and I have an article at Good Magazine, Where Have All the Administrative Assistants Gone?, which is all about the gendered nature of the recovery and the Great Speedup. There’s also a short research note that goes along with the article, Women Laid Oﬀ, Workers Sped Up: Support Staﬀ Hold a Clue to the Gendered Recover, that goes into the data a bit more.
Women have lost jobs since the end of the recession. I had thought this was primarily a story about public workers, especially teachers, being laid off (see the interactive chart here). But a recent Pew Research Center study by Rakesh Kochhar, Two Years of Economic Recovery: Women Lose Jobs, Men Find Them, pointed out that there’s something happening in the private sector – men are doing better across private industries as well. The study was inconclusive as to what was driving the results; several others discussed the article and had thoughts about what was happening (see Washington Post, Annie Lowrey, Dana Goldstein).
We decided to follow-up Pew’s excellent study by looking at the occupation data instead of industry data – occupations are what you do, industries are what your workplace does – and found some interesting results. They’re related to another thing that I’ve been meaning to investigate more: a phenomenon that Clara Jeffery and Monika Bauerlein call the Great Speedup, where workers are being squeezed to do more with less while corporate profits skyrocket. Which are all parts of the bigger questions we need to answer: who benefits from the weak recovery, and how are the relationships between workers and bosses changing, perhaps for the long-term, under our current economy with sky-high unemployment?