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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Women Suffer In The Obama Economy

By Susan Duclos

Mitt Romney, a clear front runner for the GOP nomination for president, has begun his general election campaigning and is working to overcome the gender gap, with women favoring Barack Obama at this time.

Romney's claim: "The Obama Administration has brought hard times to American women. Under President Obama, more women have struggled to find work than at any other time in recorded history." Romney also provides an infographic to offer visualization of that claim.

Romney is a Republican candidate, so his and the RNC's claims are all part of the general election strategy, so while their numbers "add up" correctly, according to Washington Post's Fact Checker, who claims that "It may simply a function of a coincidence of timing — a brief blip that could have little to do with “Obama’s job market," it can still be waved away as coming "from a Republican."

Fact Checker, using their own preferred measurements, states:

(For the record: here are the statistics if one measures from the end of the recession, our preferred metric: more than 2.2 million jobs have been added under Obama, but the gain for women was just 284,000.)

Bypassing Republican claims because they have an agenda of winning the November 2012 presidential election, we turn to recent articles, polls and studies to determine how the Obama economy is truly treating women.

In March 2012, The Hill reports on a Pew Research study published that same month which shows a numbers of findings regarding the statistics of women in the Obama economy.

• Out of all the groups represented in Pew's survey — including blacks, whites, Hispanics and Asians — women are the only group for whom employment growth lagged behind population growth from 2009 to 2011.

• Gains of only 600,000 — from 65.5 million to 66.1 million — for women, compared with 2.6 million for men during those two years, the survey showed.

According to Rakesh Kochhar, a researcher at the Pew Hispanic Center, men faced a larger job gap at the end of the recession "But the jobs gap for men has fallen from 2009 to 2011 even as the gap for women has risen," Kochhar concludes "By this yardstick, the economic recovery has proceeded in opposite directions for men and women."

Think Progress, a far left liberal website, notes a Tweet from the former Department of Labor chief economist Betsey Stevenson on April 6, 2012:

CNN's Economy Blog reports Roughly 136,000 white women left the labor force in March. Their participation in the job market has been slowly dropping since mid 2009, and now it's at levels not seen since 1996.

Leslie Bennetts at the Daily Beast, back in September 2011 reports:

The poverty rate among women rose to 14.5 percent last year, up from 13.9 percent in 2009—the highest rate in 17 years. The “extreme poverty rate” among women was the highest ever recorded, climbing to 6.3 percent in 2010 from 5.9 percent in 2009.

“Extreme poverty” means that your income is below half of the federal poverty line—and by 2010, more than 7.5 million women had fallen into that dire category.

What all those statistics add up to is that more than 17 million women were living in poverty last year, compared with 12.6 million men. As usual, things were worse for older women; twice as many women over 65 were living in poverty, compared with men.

And those numbers just represented the population-wide average. For Hispanic and black women, the poverty rate increased even faster and rose higher—to 25 percent for Hispanic women and to 25.6 percent for black women.

Via The Nation in February 2012, public sector jobs were not the only area where women have lost ground:

Women have been losing ground across private-sector industries too. Secretaries and administrative assistants, both female-dominated positions, have been laid off in droves. As employers ask their workers to do more work for the same or less pay in tough times, secretaries have become disposable. Women had lost 925,000 of these jobs as of July, but men had gained 204,000.

While the campaign season for Republicans seem to be shifting from the GOP primary season to general election mode, Obama still has an advantage with women voters albeit a much smaller one than he had in 2008, according to The Politico reporting on a March 2012 Bloomberg poll which shows that Obama's losing ground among women.

In a head-to-head matchup with Mitt Romney, women voters back Obama 49 percent to 45 percent — but this is 7 points lower than Obama's 2008 female vote share. Obama captured 56 percent of the female vote in 2008, according to exit polls. And the birth control debate does not seem to have done huge or lasting damage to the Republican party's brand among women. The survey finds that 49 percent of female voters view the Democratic party favorably, while 44 percent view the Republican party favorably.

One week in to the general election campaign mode and polling finds that Mitt Romney is gaining on Barack Obama. (Source - Reuters)

Romney, Obama in Tight Race as Gallup Daily Tracking Begins and Romney voters slightly more certain they will vote. (Source- Gallup)

Republicans have been divided during the primary season, as expected, while the GOP candidates battled it out, but now that it is looking more certain that Mitt Romney will walk away with the nomination, head-to-heads with Obama become more relevant since the Republican party will soon have one candidate to unite behind.

While the terms "war on women" and "war on moms" are entertaining at times, no one truly believes Republicans or Democrats are declaring war on one gender who happens to be a significant voting bloc, but whether it is deliberate or not, the economic decisions made by Barack Obama since he took office, have created serious suffering among women and we can expect a full out frontal assault against Obama showing how much damage his policies have done to women even as unintended consequence of his agenda.

Republicans as a whole and Mitt Romney specifically, would be incompetent if they did not hit Obama fast, hard and consistently on the actual statistical data regarding poverty among women under the Obama economy and the unemployment recovery gap when comparing women to men under the Obama economy.