Men experienced greater setbacks in the recession, losing twice as many jobs as women between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the fourth quarter of 2009. In the recovery, however, men have gained four times as many jobs as women. The recovery has been weak for women — they represent the only group (among those examined in a recent report) for whom employment growth lagged behind population growth between 2009 and 2011.

Employment for men increased from 72.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 75.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, a gain of 2.6 million jobs. The jobs recovery was strong enough to push the unemployment rate for men down from 10.7% in 2009 to 8.6% in 2011. But men lost 5.2 million jobs in the recession, and their employment level remains 2.6 million below its pre-recession level.

Women enjoyed a much smaller increase in employment—from 65.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 66.1 million two years later. Their unemployment rate also improved much less than it did for men, nudging down from 8.3% in 2009 to 8.0% in 2011. Employment for women in the fourth quarter of 2011 remained 2 million less than its pre-recession level of 68.1 million. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.