Upside of Downsizing

Women's Work

The economic downturn may be good for gender equality: Women are poised to surpass men on the nation's payrolls for the first time in American history, as 82 percent of the job losses so far have been in male-dominated fields such as manufacturing and construction, the New York Times reports. Women tend to work in areas less susceptible to economic rumblings like education and health care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women held 49.1 percent of the nation's jobs in November. It's harder for women to support a family, however, given that they are far more likely to have a part-time job without health or unemployment insurance, and even when they work full-time they only receive 80 cents for each dollar a man makes in a similar position, according to government data. But don't look for a total reversal, here—as women shoulder a greater economic responsibility, they'll still clock marathon hours of housework. Women, employed and unemployed spend more time on housework and childcare than employed or unemployed men.