September 4, 2020
Contact: Keri A. Potts | 860-839-3438 |

Despite Slight Jobs Growth, Gains are Slowing, Particularly Impacting Mothers and Black Women

Statement from Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR): Women continue to be disproportionately affected by the COVID 19 pandemic as they remain 6.1 million jobs below pre-COVID levels from February, despite making a gain of 800,000 jobs compared with men’s 600,000 new jobs since July. Adult women retain a higher unemployment rate than adult men (8.4 percent vs. 8.0 percent). In addition, we are seeing a continued strong adverse impact of unemployment on race and gender:

  • Black women have the highest unemployment rate (12.0%) among women, compared with Hispanic (10.5%) and White (7.3%) women workers.
  • Hispanic and White women workers experienced the greatest declines in unemployment of all workers at 25.0% and 24.0% respectively. Black women’s unemployment declined by a slight 11.1%. Asian workers’ unemployment declined by just 10.8% since July.

Throughout this ‘she-cession‘, women’s rates of unemployment have been worse than men’s because job loss has been particularly severe in sectors such as Leisure and Hospitality, Retail, and parts of Health and Education services where women are the majority of the workforce, and which disproportionately employ Black and Hispanic women.

The lack of recovery of ‘Child Care Services’ illustrates the difficulties for many working mothers as the economy slowly recovers. Employment in child care services declined between July and August, and while employment overall is back at 92.4 percent of February levels, in Child Care services it still is at only 79.4 percent.


Click to view figures.

IWPR will release its quick figure analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) unemployment numbers next week. View August’s quick figure analysis here.


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