Research Roundup: Women in the Workforce Most Impacted by December Job Losses

Following the start of the COVID-19 crisis and the quarantines and lockdowns that followed, December was the first month in which the United States posted an overall job loss since businesses began to open back up and the economy began adding jobs back in May 2020. The casualties? Women in the workforce.

According to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), most jobs lost in December 2020 belonged to women. This demonstrates COVID-19’s disproportionate impact based on gender and race. The NWLC analysis is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report. That report shows that the economy lost 140,000 net jobs in December. This loss equates to 40% of the 22.1 million jobs lost in March and April due to initial shutdowns. But the gender divide is stark. According to the report, women lost 156,000 jobs and gained 27,000 in December. Men lost a negligible number of positions and gained 16,000 jobs overall.

Just a year ago, there were slightly more women in the U.S. workforce than men. In September that changed dramatically when an estimated 863,000 women exited the workforce.

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