Women in Policy—Written INTO the Recovery and Reinvestment Plan

It’s not as compelling, as Dreams from My Father, but you may still want to read The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment plan—for what it says about women. And a new way of thinking policy.


We’ve been hearing a lot about getting Americans back to work with infrastructure projects. Some female voices on oped pages, noted rebuilding bridges and roads wouldn’t necessarily employ that many Americans who happened to be female.  

And guess what, The Obama Transition team may have been listening to those female voices.  Or even better,maybe they thought of that on their own.  And they’re considering how women are affected by policies. 

“It is possible to look more closely at the possible gender composition of jobs created by the recovery…..

Summing across industries suggests that thetotal number of created jobs likely to go to women is roughly 42% of the jobs created by the package.  Given that so far in the recession women have accounted for roughly 20% of the decline in payroll employment, this calculation could reflect that the stimulus packages skews job creation somewhat toward women, possibly as a result of the investments in healthcare, education, and state fiscal relief.3  However, it is important to keep in mind that it is possible that the gender composition of the jobs created by industry will not follow the industry average, and so smaller fractions are possible.4

Economists can debate the numbers and whether or not new women are coming into the workforce or more mean or leaving.  The administrations projected numbers may be wrong.  But what's really significant here is at least they're putting out policies that consider gender. That's a good start.  


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