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January/February 2010, 
Vol. 92, No. 1
Posted 2010-01-04

The Effects of Recessions Across Demographic Groups

by Kristie M. Engemann and Howard J. Wall

The burdens of a recession are not spread evenly across demographic groups. As the public and media noticed, from the start of the current recession in December 2007 through June 2009 men accounted for more than three-quarters of net job losses. Other differences have garnered less attention but are just as interesting. During the same period, the employment of single people fell at more than twice the rate that it did for married people and the decline for black workers was one and a half times that for white workers. To provide a more complete understanding of the effect of recessions, this article examines the different effects of this and previous recessions across a range of demographic categories: sex, marital status, race, age, and education level.