The title of this entry could just as easily have been, “The female economy.” Or, “The case for marriage.” The news about jobs is so bad that it seems the press and the Bureau of Labor Statistics have come up with a doozy to get your attention. (That is, if you’re not too busy looking for a job.)

The Slumping Economy: It’s a guy thing. BusinessWeek reports that men seem to be losing their jobs at a rate alarmingly higher than women. And the reason? Guys have too many guy-jobs; you know, hammering nails, doing stuff that requires muscle but no tenderness. Women, on the other hand, are in nurturing lines of work, like nursing and education. Those jobs are booming. (Pay attention, guys with hammers: This is important. I’ll offer you a solution in a second.)

Women still get paid less, on the whole, because they’re women. Now, make some sense of this. Women are in the booming business of health and education. Booming. Demand for good workers. But they get paid less.

Follow me so far? Nah, I didn’t think so. Because I read the article, and I don’t follow it, either. I can only surmise that employers are out of their minds. Industries that are suffering are laying guys off. Booming industries are paying women less. Is there really a difference?

The answer, I think, is for the male economy and the female economy (hey, I didn’t make this up — those are the terms BusinessWeek uses) to get married. Then, out-of-work guys (who have nothing better to do) can go beat up the employers of the women, until employers start paying fair wages and salaries. With all the money they’ll make, women will buy new houses, and their new husbands can go back to work. (Special tip to the guys: do not make improvements to your existing home. That wil never yield you a new job, and the economy will never be repaired.)

Get it now? I thought so. If you keep reading the news, you will never get a job.

  1. Are women and minorities encouraged to reply?

  2. Great piece. Hilarious.

  3. My daughter entered college this year. With minor exceptions, the colleges we researched (and we researched many, from Ivy Leagues to state schools) have more women students than men.

    In fact, some colleges are treating males as a “minority” population and are actively courting them with incentives to apply and accept admission.

    I wonder if these well-educated women (often 60+% of the student population) will be part of the “male” or “female” economy?


    As always, Nick, love your perspectives.

  4. While there is a guy vs girl economy, that isn’t the sole reason for women earning less. Fortunately, women don’t always earn less just because they are women, which means they can have control over their earning power with the right advice (mine-hehe!). Some “controllable” reasons women earn less:

    -Women earn less because they don’t negotiate their salary, right from their first job, which dramatically impacts their earnings throughout their career
    -Women make choices to leave the job market to raise families, not travel or relocate, etc
    -Industries they choose to go in

    Note also, that women who aren’t married w/o children make 117% of what men w/o children make. (Warren Farrell)

    I have great hope for women (and men) who work hard on/in their careers. As a female professional and business owner, I’ve walked the walk myself.

    August Cohen

  5. August: Regarding your first bullet point, the answer is simple. Stop divulging salary history when applying for a job. Break the pattern. Just say NO.

  6. Nick, I know what you are saying about not divulging salary history. My point is, women don’t negotiate salary from their first job out of college, when they technically don’t have a salary history. Or, when offered promotions or new jobs, don’t negotiate their offer, irregardless if they’ve previously divulged their salary or not. At some point salary comes up, and the majority of times there is room for negotiation.

    Of course, how do you know what you’re worth and what the market can offer is another topic;-).

  7. Nick this is awesome! I think I’ll show it to the number 1 male figure in my life–my dad. He has been in the medical profession for almost 30 years, first as just a medical doc and now as both a doc and a distinguished professor of surgery/chairman of a surgery department. When he’s not practicing medicine he doubles as Mr. Fix-It and the house chef on duty.