Three years ago, John Moser lost his $50,000-a-year job as a development and marketing specialist. Since then, Moser, who lives near Allentown, Pa., and has a master's degree in public relations, has since held retail jobs selling club memberships, working part-time for a museum and, more recently, making sales calls for a lighting distributor.
"I decided to do what I had to do to keep the family going forward," Moser said, noting he has a daughter in college.
Whether women can land more new jobs depends to a large extent on the strength of the public sector.
Not only are women more likely to hold public sector jobs, but they also are more likely to work in fields — such as teaching and clerical work — that have been disproportionately cut in the last three years, said Betsey Stevenson, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
"It may be that among the hundreds of thousands of female teachers and other women who lost their jobs, some may be giving up the idea of working — at least for now," Stevenson said.