July 11, 2011

"The man-cession has become a (not large) man-covery."

Explains Michael Barone:
Men have gained jobs in the retail sector where women have lost them. The retail, manufacturing and finance sectors employed 253,000 more men in May 2011 than in June 2009 and 433,000 fewer women.

And men have gained more jobs than women in health and education -- two sectors where employment grew during the past decade.
So underneath the recovery news (dismal though it is) are really horrible numbers for women. Why are men faring better? Because they were originally hurt more, or is this some real shift favoring men over women?
What I see beneath these data is something like this -- a picture of men hustling to acquire new skills and learn how to do different jobs than they have in the past, while women have been more likely to sit back and accept whatever the macroeconomy doles out.
Why does Barone see that? Is that a stereotype about male and female psychology?

52 comments:

John Burgess said...

I don't know what the answer is, but I'm sure that there's a disparate impact suit waiting in the wings.

Hagar said...

Well, ma'am, so what do you see?

MarkG said...

Men are bolder and more aggressive. That's what having balls do for you. Literally.

Pogo said...

Barone made it up.
Or at least he didn't back up the theory with data

But the job numbers are right, at least judging anecdotally. I can't remember seeing so many men as checkout clerks before.

The Crack Emcee said...

We, as a society, are being forced back to reality by the recession - and that's also back to endeavors that favor men. Or do you think "shovel-ready" jobs go to hairdressers?

Of course, being *rational* like you, as he's talking about recovery, he's only be thinking about certain sectors,...

Dad29 said...

Men are willing to underbid the price.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't know what the answer is, but I'm sure that there's a disparate impact suit waiting in the wings."

That was the Wal-Mart case. The Supreme Court nixed it.

Maguro said...

Why are men faring better? Because they were originally hurt more, or is this some real shift favoring men over women?

Apparently, men were originally hurt more: Since the current recession began in December 2007, men have lost the vast majority of jobs.

Those guys who lost jobs in construction and other heavily male industries have got to do something else - those jobs aren't coming back any time soon - so they're moving into other fields out of necessity. Nothing too mysterious.

Ann Althouse said...

"Or do you think "shovel-ready" jobs go to hairdressers?"

Read the article. The jobs were not traditional man-type jobs like construction. The men who adapted to the changing market went into education and health care -- traditional women's work. Now, the women are losing out in these fields, perhaps because the competition is unexpected. I don't know.

Joe Schmoe said...

Pogo, he provided the data and backed it up with his own theory. The genesis of that theory is what Ann questions.

I guess Barone didn't get the memo that all men are not to comment on anything having to do with women. Ann, you seem a little twitchy and went right to gender psych stereotypes. Maybe that's his basis, maybe not. How about innocent until proven guilty?

Based on my own observations and relationships, I agree with Barone, although I admit my evidence is of a small sample size. Doesn't mean correlation is causation; just that his premise does fit with what I see with the people in my life.

There could be a lot more to it, though. Curious to see if more or fewer women are having kids? Obviously that affects, even temporarily, their ability to get different jobs or education. I'm sure there are more potential factors.

Scott M said...

Is that a stereotype about male and female psychology?

NOW has me programmed to believe that aggressive, overly-competitive tendencies are imbedded in the male psyche and must be medicated immediately.

bagoh20 said...

Men are not a special class made less attractive to employers, and special classes have lost their luster. Employers want substance not style now. They need effective workers who show up every day. The past efforts to make your workforce look PC have backfired. Liberal ideas about how wonderful diversity is have given way to the simple truth that you need a uniformly good group of people to succeed, not a rainbow coalition. Former discrimination in order to meet self-imposed quotas has been abandoned in favor of the natural and honest fairness of merit.

Lonetown said...

I think its because the women have not been effected until now. Men were previously in a state of complacency but forced to adapt.

benefit of the doubt

campy said...

The men who adapted to the changing market went into education and health care -- traditional women's work. Now, the women are losing out in these fields, perhaps because the competition is unexpected.

The women will fight back. My guess is they'll attempt to drive the interlopers out by unleashing a new flood of false rape and abuse allegations.

Scott M said...

The jobs were not traditional man-type jobs like construction.

As the stigma of something like, say, male nurses, dries up, expect to see greater velocity in the number of men versus women. The number of male nurses as a percentage of the total had a lot of room to move up, didn't it? Ditto with teachers?

David G. said...

This reminds of that study -- don't have the link, but it made a stir in its time -- that indicated men were more likely to ASK for raises than women, and therefore more likely to GET raises than women. I think I've seen something analogous in my own workplace: the women tend to complain about the hand they were dealt, and the men tend to ask for a new hand. Maybe that's stereotyped thinking, but it seems to be happening in the people being observed, not just the observer. Also, I work in a university humanities department: these aren't women or men who would consider themselves stereo-typed thinkers. Still, this is what I observe among my friends.

traditionalguy said...

Men do what Les Soldats American did on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.

They find a way to lead themselves past all of the enemy fire.

A lack of leadership really hurts. A leader communicates common sense goals.

The goals of women are to fit in make the system function in a harmony.

The goals of men are to direct fire upon the enemy faster and heavier until it is over.

Now you know why Obama surounds himself with women of both sexes. He can manipulate them with miasmas of harmony. The men simply laugh at that strategy.

madAsHell said...

Man-cession! Man-covery!

Why do you read authors willing to use such cheap literary hooks.

Fred4Pres said...

When health and education are the "commanding heights" of the economy, we are fucked.

gerry said...

In the health field, in Nursing in particular, men are a minority. Perhaps PC has spawned active recruiting of men for that reason.

Or, perhaps because the sexual revolution has tuckered out, women may be opting into family-rearing again, with a male doing the breadwinning?

Michael Haz said...

Barone's conclusions are, at least to me, suspicious.

Men who are age 50 and above have not gone back to work in any meaningful way, at least as it relates to their previous careers or jobs.

Look at the people who are working in the big-box stores now. A surprising number are former office worker males, some who held very good, well-paying jobs. Many are age 50 and older.

Many more men are still at home, their age making them essentially unemployable, especially while the market is flooded with college educated job-seekers between 25 and 35, who are still young enough to work long hours at low pay, just to get a foothold for when the economy improves.

In the suburb where I live, there are still far too many men walking through the neighborhood at 10 AM, or at the health club, or the coffee shop. Some will never return to work.

Perhaps healthcare and teaching are career change opportunities for some men, in those few states where teachers are being hired, and where a career change doesn't require a full-time return to college for two or three years to earn a state-mandated education degree.

As for medical - the types of jobs available if one can devote two or more years to education are most often lower paying positions. A BSRN is the minimum requirement to earn a healthcare salary above $45,000.

My company transports public school students between home and schools. We needed 140 new drivers and placed ads in the local newspaper. Half of our applicants had at least a bachelors degree.

Michael Barone needs to rely less on abstractions when he writes about a "man-covery" and more on actual field interviews. It's still an awful job market for men (and for women as well).

Tibore said...

"Why does Barone see that? Is that a stereotype about male and female psychology?"

The question is unanswerable because Barone himself provides no evidence for his assertion.

I actually would have no problem with the statement, controversial as it may be, if he'd have bothered to actually support it with some sort of data. Problem is, he took the lazy way out and merely asserted it as his opinion ("What we are seeing, I think..."). When there's no data, when there's no support, there's no real argument; it's all just showing off for one's own pleasure. This is nothing more than the phenomenon of talking to talk (or in this case, writing to write), and the world is full enough of that as it is.

Fact based opinion can be powerful, even when the statement ruffles feathers. Unsupported opinion is worthless; it merely allows you to let loose your inner blowhard. Barone should've done more as far as citing support for this piece, but instead he just churned it out with no backing for his claim. Any criticism he gets, he's earned, even if he's ultimately proven right because he's not written anything that can be seen as some sort of accurate summary of trends. Rather, he's written nothing more than a long, unsupported assertion that doesn't demonstrate he's actually doing anything more than guessing at his conclusion. Any idiot can be lucky with their guesses.

BT said...

I was fired at age 42 from a corporate job and it was the best thing ever to happen to me (aside from reading Crack's comments here <:) I was miserable there and found that if you apply yourself you can start over again. I am now involved in real estate inspections and appraisals, etc. I have met other guys who have done the same thing. One guy was a small appliance repairman and he has more work than he can handle. If you are good with your hands and can think for yourself and trust your instincts you can do very well, if you need to have direction come from some drone then you probably will never work at anything satisfactory again. Just my $0.02.

EDH said...

At least the media can blame men when it becomes evident that many of the public sector "caring professions," like teaching, were really the "I don't give shit professions" all along.

TosaGuy said...

What makes this recovery truly pitiful is that these tiny positive upticks (in any sector) are based off of really bad numbers from the last month/quarter/year etc. Early increases in growth percentage after a recession typically are largest because they are compared to the really bad.

We have miniscule growth of really crappy base numbers. That is not a recovery, that is treading water with a 20 pound weight on your back. You can't do it long before the weight sinks you.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann Althouse,

Read the article. The jobs were not traditional man-type jobs like construction.

Oh yeah, I forgot:

There are no "shovel-ready" jobs.

Thanks to the *rational* decisions of my betters,...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Dunno so much about the man woman ratio in hiring.

But as an anecdote: I know several of the owners of local restaurants and the guy who has several McDonald's franchises. They are NOT hiring summer jobs or hiring teenagers to do the unskilled things like busing tables, manning the drive up, serving food, flipping the burgers. They are hiring older workers because they are more reliable, have a good work ethic, will show up for work, can MAKE CHANGE and COUNT and are generally pleasant to the customers.

In addition the older workers are either working more than one job usually and can handle part time work ...or more ominously the older worker is supplementing their Social Security.

The same cost of hiring a teen at 8.25 and hour or hiring a reliable permanent part time older worker who doesn't require health insurance, at the same cost. No Brainer. (lol)

Until the government gets out of trying to fine tune the economy and lets the minimum wage be competitive, young people are going to remain at a 50% or higher unemployment rate. Dangerous situation for the economy and for society.

DADvocate said...

...women have been more likely to sit back and accept whatever the macroeconomy doles out.

Barone notes in his article:
It hasn't resulted from any massive increase in construction or manufacturing jobs. As the Pew report notes, men have gained more jobs than women in 15 of 16 major sectors of the economy (the sole exception is state government).


Judging from that, it doesn't seem there is any shift favoring men over women. If so, please identify it.

Men tend to fend for themselves. For the past few decadeas, they've been forced to fend for themselves as the focus has been on special interest groups, women and such.

The feminist movement has been primarily one of getting the governmwent(s) to do something for women, not women striking out on their own, unaided by favoratism, government beaucracies and piles of laws.

Is it a "stereotypical" difference? Don't, sometimes, stereotypical differences actually exist? In a world where people right books about how women are better at everything, is it the least bit acceptable that men might actually be better at something (besides being bigger, faster, stronger,...)?

edutcher said...

Barone is usually very astute, but it seemed to me he's saying this is still a small trend so far.

If there's an answer, it may be because men have to adapt because they have families to feed. Women may be coasting on the idea they're a protected class.

roesch-voltaire said...

His last sentence reveals the right wing mantra, which is why he has little data to back up his claims but simply wants to stress his view point. In 2009 with more men losing jobs than women, we were making way for the new "lipstick economy," but now with more women making up a greater percent of the layoffs in government and low paying jobs they have been hit with higher numbers and are not part of the man-covery? It also seems that unmarried women are hit hardest. This recession now seems to be an equal opportunity for unemployment. Frankly I do not see the female graduates, who now make up over %50 of the college population sitting back to take what ever is offered. Tax cuts and less regulation has not caused an increase so far in American manufacturing, and I do not see a willingness to get serious about improving our infrastructure,so I really don't know what the simple solution to to the man/woman-cession is, but clearly we need skill training for lots of folks to improve our labour force as the most recent complaint is about the shortage of skilled workers who can show up on time each and every day.

Titus said...

Is it true that women have three holes? Poop, period and pee?

And if so can a hog puncture any of the three?

And if so does that man always know which hole it is puncturing?

The Three P's-Poop,Period,Pee.

Pogo said...

@Joe Schmoe

Pogo, he provided the data and backed it up with his own theory .

Barone provided no data to support his idea that 'men acquire new skills, while women sit back and accept what the economy doles out.'

It's Barone's usual bullshit watercooler theorizing.

Shanna said...

The man-cession has become a (not large) man-covery. This is in contrast to the economic recoveries following every recession since 1970, in which women gained more jobs than men. It seems to have left the Pew researchers puzzled.

I need some more concrete numbers and percentage comparisons here, because at first glance, since men were more adversely affected by this recession, it seems to make sense that they would gain jobs faster than women. I don’t see what you can glean from that...

John Lynch (another) said...

There's another factor at work here: the difference between public sector and private sector jobs. During the recession almost all the job losses were in the private sector.

Public sector employment held up pretty well in the recession and into 2010. One reason was the Obama Democrats' February 2009 stimulus package, one-third of which was aid to state and local governments -- where most jobs are held by women.

This was an attempt to maintain employment among public-sector union members. Such unions account for most union members, and unions channeled $400 million to Democratic campaigns in the 2008 campaign cycle.

But now the stimulus funds have run out, and public
sector payrolls are falling.
This helps to account for the fact, highlighted in a recent Pew Research report and a Washington Post news story, that from June 2009 to May 2011, the number of men with jobs has risen by 768,000 while the number of women with jobs has fallen by 218,000.



Barone's point seems clear enough and a trend worth continuing. More men in private sector - which got hammered; more women in public sector, which was shielded - now not so much. Men, in aggregate, have been scrambling to recover; women, in aggregate, haven't yet been so forced.

Is that necessarily a comment on gender differences?

Salamandyr said...

Retail, healthcare, and education?

It looks to me like men are busy moving into otherwise female dominated jobs, since at the moment, that's where the jobs are. Obviously if a man is taking the job, a woman isn't.

aronamos said...

Geez, it doesn't take long to get the women-bashers in here. It has nothing to do with hunting or gathering, but with supply, demand, and The Era Of Diversity.

Jobs considered "women's work" like health care and teaching are pretty much unaffected by Obamanomics. Now men are seeing those jobs for what they are: they're secure (kids gotta go to school, people get sick), not bad money for the investment (no one cares what "tier" school you attended to get your CNA or LPN, for example), and eminently portable.

Add to that, that employers both want to diversify their workplaces and have no choice in the matter. Say you're the director at a nursing home and you've got a CNA job to fill. You get two candidates, one male and one female, for that one job. You'd both want to hire the male candidate, and feel more or less foreced to it, since the last five or six CNAs you hired were women.

It has nothing to do with primoridal hardwiring, who's hungrier, who's ballsier, who's smarter or more capable. It'd be nice if it did diversify classrooms and hospital floors.

Shanna said...

can MAKE CHANGE and COUNT

A couple weeks ago at McD’s, I think the lady was using the calculator on her phone to make change.

Jon Burack said...

I don't know how anyone knows it is or is not due to hardwiring. I think it is obvious men are hardwired to be bigger risk takers. You have to have been besotted by women's studies nonsense not to see that. I also think it is clear woman lean a bit more to reliance on the state these days. So perhaps men are quicker to take risks in regard to new kinds of work. I don't know. I do know the economy stinks and the state is not going to do anything much about it for a long while, if ever again. I am 68 and male, will never retire, never want to retire, never be able to retire. I will do what I can do, must do, plain and simple. Ready for adventure whichever way it comes. I suspect many men in their hearts feel this way.

holdfast said...

In many cases the man is still the main family breadwinner, it is as simple as that. Maybe the wife works, maybe not, but it's better for the man to be working at a crummy job than to have no job, and unemployment benefits don't last forever. If that means moving into a new field of work, at much less pay, then so be it - the family's gotta eat, so a man will suck it up and get it done.

Oclarki said...

Why is having a job the be all end all of success. Weren't we much better off as a country when women could stay home to raise the kids instead of being forced into the workforce just to maintain a family's middle class lifestyle?

Amy said...

Here's another sector where you'll see more men working in the future: child care. "Early childhood education" is a rising field, and I have seen men start coming into those jobs recently.

Amy said...

Also ... I'm guessing that while Barone might be partly right, the real reason we see this disparity probably has more to do with unemployed mothers deciding to be stay-at-home moms for the time being, until the economy improves, while the husbands are still out looking for work. And, as Barone says, being willing to learn new fields in order to find work.

ic said...

Sexist recovery, racist recession (black unemployment rate almost doubles white's). A case of the President hates black people.

Shanna said...

the real reason we see this disparity probably has more to do with unemployed mothers deciding to be stay-at-home moms for the time being, until the economy improves, while the husbands are still out looking for work.

This was my first thought, before I read the article and realized Barone didn't use any hard numbers that I could see so I'm not sure that it's true in the first place.

Methadras said...

Here's a reason why. Men don't really complain all that much at being able to get a job and maintaining. Women whine like bitches. Hence, men win.

Scott M said...

Yeah, but there's men...and then there's also guys, dudes, and over-aged emos.

James said...

Must everything be explained through psychological bias? Why aren't you asking about what theory is best supported by the data? Or do you just prefer this psychobabble bullshit?

Amy Schley said...

Weren't we much better off as a country when women could stay home to raise the kids instead of being forced into the workforce just to maintain a family's middle class lifestyle?

Let's rephrase the question, shall we?

Weren't we much better off as a country when a middle class lifestyle wasn't defined by frivolous expenditures that require a second income to afford?

I live in a "middle class" home, circa 1920. Though bought in the height of the bubble, my mortgage is still only $650/month. Excluding our credit card and student loan debt (from our so-far-useless college and law degrees), our monthly expenditures run around $1800, which can easily be afforded with just one income making ~$12/hour full time.

David R. Graham said...

"Now you know why Obama surounds himself with women of both sexes. He can manipulate them with miasmas of harmony. The men simply laugh at that strategy."

Eloquent!

David R. Graham said...

"If you are good with your hands and can think for yourself and trust your instincts you can do very well, if you need to have direction come from some drone then you probably will never work at anything satisfactory again."

Goethe: "When you trust yourself you will know what to do."

The logistics train solution, always, is manual arts. Those skills are never obsolete.

David R. Graham said...

Correction of Goethe quote: "When you trust yourself you will know how to live."

Joe Schmoe said...

If Barone's so full of shit then what is the next most plausible explanation?

I also don't think Barone made up this theory out of whole cloth. He probably read something or discussed something that led him to that conclusion. It's hard to cite everything in a 500 word column. If you wonder where he came up with it, his email address is at the bottom of his column.

I don't give a fig about whether he's right or not, but I would like to consider the merit of his argument without totally dismissing it. There may be something there; there might not. I hate PC-based argument squelching.