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Economic Research

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Volume 14 Number 1
First Quarter 2012


Who Is the Most Unemployed? Factors Affecting Joblessness

The unemployment effects of the 2007–09 recession were similar to those of a rainstorm, according to "Who Is the Most Unemployed? Factors Affecting Joblessness," an article featured in the first quarter 2012 issue of EconSouth.

As staff writer Lela Somoza explains, like a rainstorm, the effects were not evenly distributed. "Some people got a little wet, and others got caught in a downpour—without their umbrellas."

The article details some of the demographic groups that were hardest hit by the most recent recession and looks at how they have fared in the recovery. Among the most high-profile demographic groups hit by the recession were men, who accounted for about three-quarters of job losses during the downturn.

Despite the deluge of stories chronicling the plight of men in the recession, it wasn't a rare phenomenon. Indeed, men have experienced higher rates of unemployment during or immediately following recessions since the early 1980s, Somoza writes.

The recovery has been somewhat of a different story, however. Since the recession ended in June 2009, women have actually been losing jobs. Citing a study by the Pew Research Center, Somoza notes that the current recovery is the first since the 1970s in which the unemployment rate for women rose while the rate for men declined.

To learn more about how other demographic groups have fared in the recovery, read the full story in the first quarter issue of EconSouth, available in print or online.