President Carter's anti-inflation efforts will hurt women and minorites in the job market but not as much as a recession would, Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal said yesterday.
"In the agonizing decision that had to be made before the budget process, the concerns of women and minorities were in all our mind," Blumenthal told a national women's group. "We're trying to see that the burden of restraint is fairly shares."
Blumenthal said that many women are concerned that the adminstraion's economic restraint might slow expansion and eliminate their jobs. "But if we have the economy moving as fast as in the fourth quarter there will be the loss of more jobs . . . A gains in the job market for women and minorites," he said.
During poor economic conditions "those who are most vulnerable are squeezed out," Blumenthal said. "Women are concentrated in this group."
Blumenthal also made a pitch to women attending the Women's Equity Action League conference that to protect themselves in the job market they should push for compliance with President Carter's wage-price guidelines.
Last month Blumenthal told a trade group in Dallas that the administration might have to tighten its economic policies further in the effort to combat inflation, even if it meant bringing on a recession.
Blumenthal said yesterday that the federal income tax system and Social Security "still maintain fundamental biases against women," particularly through penalties on two-income families and in Social Security regulations that 'ignore people with fragmented work histories."