After the Great Recession – in 2009 – following a period when men had lost most of the jobs – the recovery started, and men saw much stronger job gains than their female counterparts – but that trend seems to be changing. Joan Entmacher, the Vice President for Family Economic Security at the National Women’s Law Center says for the past 2 years “women have only added 3 percent of the 1-point-4 million jobs that were added to the economy during that period…but in 2011 overall, women gained back about a third of the jobs they lost- which was a faster pace than before.”

She says while there appears to be improvement “of women gaining jobs in the private sector, there are some disturbing trends – in that in a lot of job sectors where men are making gains, women are still losing – for example in manufacturing…also construction jobs are starting to come back – men are making some gains there – but women are losing jobs in construction…and in financial services, men gained jobs in 2011, women lost – and again in some of these areas it wouldn’t be surprising if men got most of the jobs that are coming back – because they had most of the jobs before the recession hit in manufacturing …but for women to still be losing in that field is troubling.”

Entmacher points out “some of these trends are not fixed – it will depend on what policymakers do…women have made some gains during the recovery, but it’s still very, very slow…the overwhelming truth is millions of people- both women and men- are still looking for work – many have given up looking for work – they looked for so long and they haven’t been able to find jobs – so we still have an employment crisis – that’s the bottom line.”