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Young Women Workers Still Struggling a Decade After the Great Recession: Lessons for the Pandemic Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a “she-cession,” with women experiencing a disproportionate share of job losses (Institute for Women’s Policy Research 2021). Young women ages 16 to 24 years old suffered the largest percentage decline in employment compared to young men and prime-age workers, mainly due to their concentration in service sectors and occupations that had been hit the hardest by the pandemic recession (Sun 2021). The outsized effects of the COVID-19 pandemic recession on young women reflect pre-existing inequalities in the labor market. Achieving an equitable economic recovery requires understanding how the U.S. labor market has been transformed in the past decade and beyond—to the detriment of workers.

Narrow the Gender Pay Gap, Reduce Poverty for Families: The Economic Impact of Equal Pay by State

Equal pay would significantly reduce poverty for working women and their families across the United States.  If working women received equal pay with comparable men—men who are of the same age, have the same level of education, work the same number of hours, and have the same urban/rural status—poverty for working women would be reduced by more than 40 percent.

All Work and Little Pay: IWPR Survey Shows Worrying Challenges for Working Mothers

IWPR’s new survey finds that, on the heels of the economic downturn, working mothers are skeptical about their ability to achieve equal pay. They also report being worried about paying bills and balancing work and family demands. Paid leave and health care are top priorities.

Despite Record Job Growth in March 2021, Gender Gap in Economic Recovery Widened

New March jobs data show that nearly one million (916,000) new payroll jobs were added, yet only one-third of these went to women (34.4 percent, or 315,000 payroll jobs). This marks an increased widening of the gender gap in recovery for a second month in a row. Women still need 4.6 million more jobs to get back to pre-COVID-19 levels, compared to men who need 3.8 million more jobs.

The Student Parent Equity Imperative: Guidance for the Biden-Harris Administration

As the Biden-Harris administration seeks to hasten the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, reforming the U.S. higher education system to ensure equitable access and attainment for all adults is more important than ever. The pandemic has disproportionately increased the caregiving, financial, and emotional burdens on student parents and their families—most of whom are mothers, students of color, adult and working learners, students with low incomes, and first-generation students [...]

Out of Work, Taking on Care: Young Women Face Mounting Challenges in the “She-Cession”

Longstanding inequities in access to quality jobs and affordable care, along with uneven caregiving responsibilities, create unique challenges for young women of color during this prolonged pandemic recession.    Young women (aged 16 to 24) were more likely to lose their job than young men and workers of other age groups in the initial months of the pandemic recession, largely due to their concentration in industries and occupations that have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn.

The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation, Race, and Ethnicity 2020

In 2020, women earned less than men in almost all occupations, whether they worked in predominantly male, predominantly female, or more integrated occupations. In the lowest paid of the largest 20 occupations for women, Maids and Housekeepers ($503 per week), women are nine-in-ten workers (and face a wage gap of 10.6 percent); in the highest paid of the largest 20 occupations for men, Chief Executives ($2,402 per week), women are fewer than one-in-three workers (and face a wage gap of 24.4 percent).

Busy with Purpose: Lessons for Education and Policy Leaders from Returning Student Parents

Postsecondary attainment is widely recognized as key to accessing living-wage careers—in addition to fulfilling workforce demands and elevating the United States’ standing on the world stage. While much of the work to increase attainment rates has recognized the role of reengaging adults who have some college credit, but no degree or certificate, less attention has been paid to the salience of parenthood in adults’ postsecondary experiences.

Here to Stay: Black, Latina, and Afro-Latina Women in Construction Trades Apprenticeships and Employment

The skilled construction trades provide opportunities to build careers that are both challenging and fulfilling, pay a family sustaining wage with benefits, and can be accessed through ‘learn as you earn’ apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are particularly common in the unionized sector of the construction industry, where contractors and unions jointly run and fund apprenticeship programs.

Asian and Pacific Islander Women Earn Less than White, Non-Hispanic Men in All but One State

In 2019, the median earnings of Asian American and Pacific Islander women for a year of full-time work were just 84.6 percent of White non-Hispanic men’s, and just 73.3 percent of the median annual earnings of Asian American and Pacific Islander men.2 While Asian American and Pacific Islander women had the highest median annual earnings for full-time year-round women of the largest racial and ethnic groups in the United States, $55,0003 compared to $47,299 for all women workers,4 this hides large differences in the labor market experiences for different groups of women.

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