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President Biden Tests Positive for Covid; Report: SD ethanol plants release hazardous air pollutants; Report: CA giant sequoia groves in peril after megafires.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Recession Emphasizes Shift in Men to Women as Breadwinners

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Monday, July 6, 2009   

LANCASTER, Pa. – In Pennsylvania and across the country, far more men have lost jobs during the recession than women, and that's reversing the roles of family breadwinner in some homes. Dr. Ira Wolfe is a workforce trends expert and author of "The Perfect Labor Storm." He says what the nation is seeing are more cases of a trend that started before the economy went bust.

"That shift already was beginning to occur. What the recession did, certainly, was accelerate what has been predicted for years: The male participation rate in the workforce is declining, and the female participation rate is climbing."

Wolfe says by the early 2000s, about 75 percent of women between 18 and 45 were collecting a paycheck. Numbers from the U.S. Labor Department show nearly three out of four jobs lost since the recession belonged to men, because the industries hit hardest - like manufacturing - are traditionally male-dominated.

What's happening in the job market also puts on display the challenge for workers caught in a shift in jobs from brawn to brains, Wolfe points out.

"That doesn't mean that construction workers and manufacturing workers don't have that capability, but it's certainly a different training."

Wolfe says a recent study of the workforce from the National Center for Education Statistics showed an average of 14 percent lacking basic literacy skills.

"There's a huge, huge gap between the people leaving those industries and retraining opportunities. It's not just necessary to train them in a new industry, it may mean bringing up their literacy skills."





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