Archive for December, 2010

I dreamed in poetry last night

Danged if I can remember it now. I did sleep the entire night through on last Monday, My head cleared and I was able to step back and say to myself. What have I been thinking! I need to get out more! make friends and start looking for a job.

just kidding I check on resumes daily. the good news is that the job loss scores look better, the bad news is they are slanted towards younger workers and men getting back to work.


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The scene opens, a white woman in her late 50’s, (recently jobless for any number of reasons, be they downsizing, husband has lost his job after X number of years) is in an interview with a 30ish social worker at the local state run, job center in Massachusetts. (Scratch that make that any job workforce center) But for truths sake, the story takes place in Boston MA.

and it goes like this:
“Look Jane, the truth of the matter is you’re considered early retirement risk, and well you have your husband’s (income, SSI, pension etc..) and you’re almost eligible for early retirement.  Employers are looking for younger workers with families to support. I can’t say it isn’t Grey lining you (Ageism’s term for Red Lining older worker in the workplace) or that it is in anyway fair.”  Looking around the room, Jane sees the varying degrees of hopeful to desperation in the faces of the people in the waiting room, 60 – 80% of whom are women of a certain age. He seems to imply that Jane’s viability in the market place is a spent Uranium  fuel rod and like the toxic waste of a nuclear reactor, well there just no place to put it is there?


Table 1 ( http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ma.htm)

The distorted picture of women in the workplace is found in articles like this one in USA TODAY, Women gain as men lose jobs, touting the out pacing of men in the jobs market place by women but does not include age demographic information or consideration of Baby Boomer women in the workforce. Those many invisible women of a certain Age. 

How are we to understand the full measure of  middle age women who have sacrificed in years in lower paying job, putting family first for a life time find any equity in the current job market when the mentality of the workplace dominated by testosterone, sexist theory and blatant Ageism. If the older woman worker is not tracked, their value to society explored and often neither tracked nor considered how can women begin to value themselves? It has been the entrepreneurship, flexibility and tenacity of this demographic that championed the strides for women in the 20th century a fact often overlooked and undocumented by the 21st century.

“Unemployment among men isn’t going to last forever,” says University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan. “People will move from construction and manufacturing to industries that are creating new jobs.” Mulligan expects the portion of jobs held by women to peak slightly above 50% this year, then drop below half when the economy recovers and more men find work.(USA Today)”

 Although the job numbers on paper seem to be easing up over the statistics 9.2 % in May 2010 down to 8.1%. However, Table 1 doesn’t accurately reflect the demographics of those who have or have not gotten jobs. Women over the age of 54 are not even tracked in the A10 Unemployment rates by age, sex, and marital status, seasonally adjusted  report (Table2) The true statistics of unemployment are written in faces of the women being marginalized by the job market in this economy. 

Table 2

Table 2

US Department of Labor. Quick Stats on Women Workers, 2009.  http://www.dol.gov/wb/stats/main.htm. http://www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/20lead2009.pdf
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Overview of BLS Statistics on Women Workers http://www.bls.gov/bls/cpswomendata.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS ). A-10. Unemployment rates by age, sex, and marital status, seasonally adjusted. www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cpseea10.pdf
Cauchon, D  Women gain as men lose jobs. USA TODAY. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-09-02-womenwork_N.htm

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