Employment & Unemployment

Women continue to lag behind men in earnings and wages. The underlying reasons for these continuing disparities are cultural, social and economic. While unemployment rates for women have declined less for women than for men during the recent economic downturn, women are still apt to have lower-paying jobs, with fewer benefits, and more part-time and interrupted careers. As the jobless rate for men rises, women are increasingly becoming primary breadwinners for their families, often without increased access to child care, elder care and help with domestic chores and other key supports.

ECONOMIC STIMULUS FORUM: The Bitter with the Sweet

February 25, 2009 posted by admin Overall, the economic stimulus plan that Congress passed and President Obama signed is a strong package.  We fervently hope it will provide the help that struggling families urgently need, and begin putting the nation on the road to lasting economy recovery.  We’ve never needed that more. There were victories, large and small, for those of us working for equal opportunity, 21st Century benefits, and quality, affordable health care.  The relief for working families and the expansion of unemployment benefits are significant, as is the lower threshold for the child tax credit and increased funding for child care. Not as well known, but extremely important, is the health information technology (HIT) provisions that we fought to maintain.  They withstood an attack from pharmaceutical manufacturers, health plans and drug store chains intent on putting profits ahead of privacy.  With protections against inappropriate disclosures of health information, electronic medical records can do a tremendous amount to reduce medical errors, coordinate and streamline care, and reduce costs.  This was a real step forward.


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ECONOMIC STIMULUS FORUM: A Great Start-- But Low-Income Women and Families Need Economic Security

February 25, 2009 posted by admin From Legal Momentum’s perspective, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will do a great deal of good for women and families in the crisis. While we applaud a number of provisions in the bill, we are very concerned that yet more must be done to guarantee that women, and low-income women in particular, have access to good jobs on the one hand, and on the other, that our national safety net is strong enough to protect those who find themselves out of work and out of resources. In terms of jobs, women can take some comfort in ARRA’s provisions to shore up jobs in the traditionally women-dominated fields of health care, child care and education. However, many of the women employed in these industries are barely scraping by in low-wage jobs as home health care and child care providers. While these jobs offer a paycheck, they do not translate into economic security. Like the millions of other women who comprise the majority of the nation’s low-wage workforce, these women need access to jobs that will raise them out of poverty and offer a path to stability and prosperity.


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FAST FACT: Layoffs Not Dwindling

February 12, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird

In the first few days of February, 50,939 people working at America's 500 largest companies have been laid off.  Companies include Nike, US Airways, Wal-Mart, Macy's and General Motors. (via Forbes' Layoff Tracker)

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FAST FACT: Where Women Can Earn $20 or more an Hour

February 6, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird

In 2007, the nontraditional occupation for women with the largest number of employed women was laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand.


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FAST FACTS: Disturbing Poverty Disparities

January 23, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird A few weeks ago, I received a newsletter from the Institute on Community Integration .  The entire issue focused on employment and women with disabilities.  Given the Council's dedication to women and economic security, my interest was instantly peaked.  Check out these stats:


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Stay-At-Home-Without-Options

January 21, 2009 posted by Linda Basch I want to draw your attention to a moving commentary by Deborah Siegel, “Masculine Mystique, Meet Feminine Mistake,” posted at the Women’s Media Center, in which she raises questions as to why the media seems to latch onto outmoded models of marriage roles, where men are the breadwinners and women are the caretakers of  home and family.  This raised in my mind another scenario we also are seeing today: the high cost of child care.  In this scenario, one or the other of the parenting couple opts to stay home to care for home and family.  Then, what happens when the working partner gets laid off?  As in Deborah’s case, though Deborah works fulltime, those families also fall into a tailspin


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Blog Post Overturns Wrongful Termination

January 16, 2009 posted by Linda Basch I wanted to share with you an exciting victory that came across my desk during the holidays.  After bringing forward sexual harassment charges at Chili’s in August, a server named Rachel Spicuglia was fired two weeks before Christmas.   As a direct result of a quick and passionate response made by her sister, Rebekah Spicuglia,who wrote about the case on the Huffington Post and launched a petition, Brinker International re-hired Rachel.


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TREASURY SECRETARY FORUM--Ms. Foundation President Sara Gould Advises Geithner to Bail Out Responsibly

Posted November 24, 2008 by Linda Basch

Linda Basch: What three recommendations do you have for Timothy Geithner, our next Treasury Secretary?

Sara Gould: First, we must strongly urge that the next Secretary ensure that the $700 billion bailout and other actions designed to address the economic crisis prioritize getting relief to communities that need it most. It’s not enough to rely on support for large banks to trickle down to middle and low-income people who are disproportionately affected by the plummeting economy—particularly when the banks’ share of the bailout came with few regulations and the conditions it did come with are being defied (see Naomi Klein’s article in The Nation).  Instead, the next Treasury Secretary should require that financial institutions use the bailout money for lending to consumers—instead of to boost the value of its shares. In addition to accountability and comprehensive regulations that apply to bailed-out banks and beyond, s/he should insist upon transparency and reveal exactly where the money is going and how it is being used. It is especially critical that the bailout money be used to help people who are facing or already in foreclosure—the majority of whom are likely women and people of color, as they were most likely to receive sub-prime loans in the first place. One promising option is to support FDIC chairperson Sheila Bair’s proposal to use $25 billion of the bailout to provide mortgage relief to homeowners. Her proposal would offer incentives to loan servicers to restructure mortgages, making payments more affordable. Second, an economic stimulus should be passed quickly. It should include immediate relief such as the extension of unemployment benefits as well as programs like job creation and training that will ensure economic stability for low- and middle-income people over the long-term. Any economic stimulus package should be sure to address the urgent needs of those who have been most impacted by the crisis, especially low-income women, women of color and their families. Recent statistics show that women are losing jobs at twice the rate of men. Third, we must return to a system of progressive taxation in which people with high incomes and net worth provide a larger share of tax revenues. New revenue should go towards domestic stimulus programs such as job training and infrastructure rebuilding as well as for key social and economic supports that have been eroded over the last two decades.


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TRANSITION FORUM--National Women's Law Center Says The Nation Has No Time to Spare

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger and Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-Presidents, National Women's Law Center Throughout the nation's history, the actions of Congress, the President, and the courts have had a tremendous impact on the progress of women and their families.


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