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Recession Proof Women

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October 21, 2002

Albany - When it comes to job security, women are winning the battle of the sexes. The national unemployment rate is lower for women than for men.

Women hold more service jobs and seek higher education, helping them get and keep jobs in economic downturns. In Albany, the overall unemployment rate is down from this time last year. And, women are faring better in the job market.

With only 3 years of nursing experience, Lenekia Thomas may not have the safety of seniority. But, she never worries about job security. "People will always get sick and need a nurse," said Thomas.

The health care profession, popular among women, helps females stay more recession proof than men."Careers in health care and education are still in demand when times are tough," said Mike Flowers of the Department of Labor.

Times have changed the jobless trend. From 1950 until 1980, women's unemployment remained higher in both good and bad economic times. "More women are going back to school. Education allows them to get better, more recession proof jobs," said Flowers.

Unlike women who seek service jobs, men have felt the grunt of the economic downturn. Male dominated jobs in careers such as manufacturing and construction are often cut when business is slow.

Tracy Posey and his family own Posey Construction. They have many people depending on them for jobs.

"We depend on subcontractors to complete construction jobs," said Posey. "And, these subcontractors depend on us. So when business is lagging, we warn them immediately."

Ironically, like Lenekia Thomas, it's the health care profession that's keeping Posey Construction working. They are building a doctor's office in Albany.

If job security remains stronger for women, household duties like taking care of children may fall into the hands of men. In the current economic downtown, 1.5 million factory jobs have been cut. 365,000 service jobs have been added.