Home » More than half of April’s job gains went to women – but 1 million women are still missing from the labor force

More than half of April’s job gains went to women – but 1 million women are still missing from the labor force

by Narges Mohammadi

April also marked the third straight month of significant job growth for women, who gained about 65% of the new positions created, reports the National Women’s Law Center. According to the NWLC’s analysis, women gained jobs across major sectors last month, including leisure and hospitality, retail trade, government and the education and health services sector

Yet women still lag behind men in economic recovery: 181,000 women left the labor force in April, compared to 131,000 men, and there are still close to one million fewer women working or actively seeking a new job than in February 2020. The NWLC calculates that women account for 70% of the jobs lost in the last two years

Jasmine Tucker

Jasmine Tucker, the NWLC’s director of research, tells CNBC: We’re heading in the right direction jobs-wise, and it’s encouraging to see women gain jobs across a variety of industries, but unemployment levels are artificially low because hundreds of thousands of women still left the labor force last month

Some women-dominated sectors are still struggling. The child care sector, for example, added a mere 2,700 jobs in April, and about 1 in 10 of its jobs (9.8%) that existed before the Covid-19 pandemic are still missing

And several groups of women saw a drop in unemployment last month: Latinas (4.2% to 3.8%), Asian women (2.6% to 2.4%) and Black women (5.5.% to 5.0%), while the unemployment rate for white women remained unchanged at 2.8%. The unemployment rate for all people held at 3.6%, slightly higher than economists’ expectations of 3.5%

Burnout and stress have reached “alarming levels” for working women, a recent report from Deloitte warns, with 53% of women reporting higher stress levels than a year ago and 46% of women saying they feel burned out. Deloitte’s report surveyed 5,000 women from different countries and industries between November 2021 and February 2022

The NWLC estimates that it would take about three months of growth at April’s rate for women to recoup all of their job losses since the pandemic began. Companies can help close that employment gap by asking their female employees how to better support them — whether through childcare stipends, more flexible schedules, different health insurance policies or other benefits

As Tucker adds: Companies shouldn’t wait for a law to pass, or the situation to become dire, to take action to improve working conditions for their employees

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