Posted Sunday, July 8, 2012, at 10:25 AM
Here's the broadest labor market indicator around—the ratio of employed people to total people—broken down by gender over the past fifty years. One striking thing that pops out is that the labor market for men never recovers from recessions. Each trough is followed by a new peak, but the new peak is lower than the previous peak.
The situation for women is different. For a long time there's a clear upward underlying trend. Whether that trend ended recently or we're simply in an incredibly severe local trough is hard to say.
But for men, in the past full recovery has never happened.