Published In


Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2010


American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -- Evaluation, Public investments -- Oregon, Sex role -- Economic aspects -- Oregon, Women -- Economic conditions -- Oregon


Unemployment rates in Oregon have been among the highest in the nation. In a real role reversal, unemployment in the seven counties of the Portland metropolitan area have hovered less than a percentage point below the state level, defying the usual rule that unemployment hits the rural counties far harder than the more diversified economies of the urban areas. Are we experiencing a “he-cession” here in the metroscape? Is the economic downturn hitting men hardest, leaving women relatively unscathed? Has stimulus spending disproportionately benefited men? Does it even make sense to think about an economic downturn having a gendered impact, when women and men live together in family units? While it hardly makes sense to pit women and men against each other--as if most of us weren’t members of mixed-sex families, workplaces, credit unions and communities--the financial crash and ongoing recession do affect women and men differently. The biggest reason for different impacts of the recession on women and men in the metroscape, as elsewhere, is the fact that we still have a strong gender division of labor in both paid and unpaid work.


Originally appeared in the Winter 2010 edition of Metroscape, published by the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies, Portland State University.

Persistent Identifier