Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Of all the jobs lost to the U.S. workforce in December, 100% were owned by women

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Hello, Broadsheet readers! Kamala Harris covers Vogue, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi assesses impeachment, and 100% of the jobs lost to the economy last month were – you guessed it – women. Have a productive Monday.

– Keeping it ? Amid the chaos of the past week, Friday arrived with yet another grim news. This title of FortuneMaria Aspan of Maria Aspan says it all: “Women accounted for 100% of the 140,000 jobs cut by the US economy in December.”

No, you didn’t read it wrong; women represented 100% jobs that the economy lost in the last month of 2020. Of course, some men also lost their jobs in December. But as a group, American men gained 16,000 jobs while American women lost 156,000. The economy as a whole lost 140,000, which means the percentage of jobs lost by women is actually even higher, at 111%.

The National Women’s Law Center, which analyzed this data based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics report on Friday, attributes these numbers to the surge in COVID-19 cases; industries ill-suited to a raging pandemic like hospitality and retail that employ women en masse are again prone to cut jobs. “We knew, if and when there was a resurgence of the virus, that these industries were going to be very vulnerable to job cuts again,” says Emily Martin, vice president of education and workplace justice, of the NWLC. This rationale, of course, lies next to the caregiver responsibilities that have forced women out of the workforce for 10 months now.

Not surprisingly, this burden is not borne equally among women. White women, like men, got jobs in December; meanwhile, 154,000 black women left the workforce that month.

The sobering December report also allows us to look back on the year. Of the 9.6 million jobs lost in the economy in 2020, 55% were owned by women.

With the BLS report of each month throughout the pandemic, we had the opportunity to observe different economic milestones, from April, when the unemployment of older women exceeded that of their male peers; at May, when almost all groups found employment except black women; at August, when 27% of young black women were unemployed; and finally, to September, when 865,000 women left the labor market in one month.

We can only hope that these numbers will not be a monthly tradition for too long. in 2021.

Emma Hinchliffe


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