November 6, 2020
Contact: Keri A. Potts | 860-839-3438 |

  • While women saw at least some job growth in most major sectors, they faced substantial job losses in state and local government.
  • Women’s overall payroll employment is now at 93 percent of its February level (94 percent for men), but some sectors lag behind.
  • Collapsed child care infrastructure continues to exert pressure on working women with children.

Washington, DC—New October jobs data show women remain 5.5 million jobs below February’s levels. Despite women gaining 280,000 (43.9 percent) of 638,000 new non-farm payroll jobs since October and adult women having lower unemployment rates (6.5 percent) than men (6.7 percent) for the first time since April, stubborn trends continue.

Women of color continue to bear the brunt of these slow returns. The unemployment rate among women remains highest for adult Black (9.2 percent) and Hispanic (9.0 percent) women.

The continuing weakness of the recovery for women is highlighted by anemic growth in the Child Care sector, adding just 8,000 jobs and still at 83 percent of pre-COVID employment levels, and by job losses of 97,800 in local government education. This has created severe pressures for women with children.

Women’s labor force participation rate increased from 56.8 percent to 57.2 percent, and 480,000 women rejoined the workforce. Job growth for women was strongest in Leisure and Hospitality, adding 161,000 jobs in October. Yet, overall employment in this sector is at just 77 percent of its pre-COVID levels.

“Yet another month of jobs data with abysmal outcomes especially for Black and Hispanic women underscores the need for economic policies that center the needs of working women of color,” said IWPR President and CEO C. Nicole Mason, Ph.D. “A gender-equitable recovery is in order with policies and programs that immediately address their intersecting concerns, provides income and supports, and rebuilds the collapsed care infrastructure.”

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Contact: Keri A. Potts, IWPR Vice President External Affairs | | 860-839-3438