Hard Times Have Clobbered Men Worse Than Women

The problems afflicting the economy in recent years are exhibiting a distinct gender bias. Over the past year, for example, unemployment has risen far more among adult men than adult women. Moreover, women workers are gaining ground on the wage front. The Commerce Dept. reports that median earnings of full-time, year-round female workers rose to 71% of men's earnings last year, an all-time high and an increase from 68% in 1989. The main reason for this progress: Men's real earnings sagged by 3.6% last year, the third annual decline in a row during a period in which women's real earnings have shown no such weakness.