The Great Mancession of 2008-2009

Thank you, Chairman McDermott, Ranking Member Linder, and other members of the Subcommittee for the opportunity to appear before you this morning at your hearing to review Responsible Fatherhood Programs. My name is Mark J. Perry, and I am a tenured, full professor of economics at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan and currently a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

An issue related to Responsible Fatherhood Programs is the fact that men were disproportionately affected by the last recession, and those effects were so profoundly significant that the last few years have frequently been referred to by the news media as the "mancession." There has probably never been a previous recession in U.S. history where the negative effects of unemployment and job losses fell so disproportionately on one gender. As one of the first economists to start documenting the dramatic gender differences in unemployment rates and job losses during the last recession starting in about mid-2008, my testimony today will provide you with an overview of the historically unprecedented "mancession."

THE GREAT MANCESSION OF 2008-2009

1. Introduction

The last U.S. recession started in December 2007 and most likely ended sometime in the summer of 2009, according to a consensus of economists. More than any previous economic contraction in U.S. history, this last recession had a significantly disproportionate negative effect on men compared to women, to the point that the 2008-2009 period started being referred to as the "mancession" by the news media in late 2008. This document will provide an overview of the labor market conditions during the period known as the "mancession." . . .

The full text is available here as an Adobe Acrobat PDF.

Mark J. Perry is a visiting scholar at AEI.

 

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