Do you think this has anything to do with the recent hostility toward public sector jobs?
Even as historically male-dominated industries remain in the doldrums and men look elsewhere for work, local governments have been slashing their majority-female workforces. Employment in the sector held steady during the recession, but in the past year tens of thousands of schoolteachers and other civil servants have been laid off.
In the past month alone, numerous municipal governments — including Memphis; Tallahassee; Duluth, Minn.; and Nassau County, N.Y. — collectively have laid off hundreds of public-sector employees or said they expect to soon.
In Philadelphia, where the school district already has shed more than 3,000 jobs, more layoffs appear on the horizon. More than 500 layoff notices recently went out to employees of Milwaukee Public Schools. Chicago Public Schools officials are planning to send out roughly 1,000 pink slips in coming days.
Women make up the majority of employees in local government nationwide and have been particularly battered by the recent public-sector layoffs.