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According to the U.S. Labor Department and a recent Wall Street Journal article, women have reportedly recovered the jobs they lost during the recession, but men have not. 67.5 million women are currently employed today, which is an increase from the 67.4 million employed in early 2008. This statistic, as reported by the Labor Department, signifies a rebound in the job market for women. By comparison, 69 million men are currently employed, which is below the “high” of 70.9 million in June of 2007.

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The primary reason noted for this milestone for women is due to our willingness to pursue and hold jobs in education, health, hospitality and retail. These industries and sectors of the job market have, for the most part, weathered the economic downturn the most. Male-dominated sectors such as construction and manufacturing suffered the most during the recession. According to the report, men lost more than 6 million jobs in the recession and its aftermath, whereas women lost 2.7 million jobs.

“The last recession and recovery really showed how segregated the labor market is,” said Ariane Hegewisch, an economist at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a Washington-based think tank. “There was quite a bit of movement and further integration until the mid-1990s, and from the mid-to-late ’90s onwards, a number of indicators have stalled,” she said.

Though this report signifies great strides for women in the wake of recession recovery, it is important to note that overall employment gains have not kept pace with population growth, a development that has lowered the share of Americans who are actually working.

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Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates ( She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

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