Minnesota’s “He-cession”

We asked recently if Minnesota was seeing more women as breadwinners in this economy. Now we have data — startling, to me — showing deep gender differences in Minnesota unemployment — gaps bigger here than the nation.

Calling it “Minnesota’s He-cession,” the report concludes Minnesota men have taken a big hit compared to women.

“Sex differences in unemployment are even more pronounced in Minnesota than they are nationally,” writes Teri Fritsma, a project consultant for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Male unemployment in Minnesota rose by 5 percent, while female unemployment edged up by less than 0.5 percent over the past year, she says (March 2008 to March 2009).

The fact that the hardest hit sectors of the economy tend to be male-dominated explains much of the gap nationwide but “explains only 40 percent of the unemployment gap (in Minnesota).”

I’m hoping to talk to Fristma about the report and see if we can get some additional insight on this topic. Take a look at the report and let me know what you see in the data.

We got some great perspective from our Public Insight Networkon the “breadwinner” question (click here to add your voice).

That included Network source Megan Madland of Minneapolis. An architect/designer, she tells us:

My soon to be spouse lost his job one year ago. The wage balance has reversed…I feel a lot of pressure and would like it to be equal.

Has it changed the balance of power in the relationship? “It has made us better,” she says. “We have learned a lot from the gender reversal.”

BONUS INFO: Check out the discussion on Minnesota job issues on MPR’s Midday.


Got a story about how the economy is affecting your household structure? Tell us. And check out the map below to read what other people are telling us about job issues.

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