Men are typically somewhat more optimistic than women when it comes to the economy. The University of Michigan Survey of Consumers has almost always found higher scores for men - researchers believe that the pay gap between men and women explains some of the persistent difference.
But the gap has gotten much wider in recent months. With 100 being neutral, in the most recent reading, men were at 104 while women were at 88. The 16-point gap between men and women’s economic sentiment has never been wider in 40 years.
But no traditional labor market measures show a major change for men but not for women. The unemployment rate for men was 4.2 percent in May, compared with 4.3 percent for women. Real wages are up for both. Total job growth has actually been slightly higher for women than for men, according to Labor Department data.