Contact: Erin Weber | | (646) 719-7021

Washington, DC – This month’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows overall both men and women workers are going back to work. The data show another month of substantial growth for women, with 649,000 new jobs on payroll for women (68.8 percent of 943,000 total). Women’s jobs on payroll are still 3.1 million jobs below pre-COVID-19 level, further behind than men who have 2.6 million fewer jobs than in February 2020.

“We are moving in the right direction, but there is still much to be done to return to pre-pandemic employment levels,” said C. Nicole Mason, PhD, IWPR President and CEO. “The resurgence of COVID-19 threatens progress and will impact schools and daycare re-openings. Getting the pandemic under control and schools to fully re-open will be critical to getting women back into the workforce.”

“Women seeking to return to the workforce also want more from employers in terms of pay, workplace flexibility, and health care, among other benefits. Employers can deliver. We have an opportunity, in this moment, to create an economy that works for all, not just the few at the top,” Mason said.

IWPR analysis of the new jobs data also shows a substantial decrease in unemployment for adult women across race and ethnicity. The rate of unemployment for adult women fell from 5.5 to 5.0 percent (a decline of 9.1 percent); for men, it fell from 5.9 to 5.4 percent. The rate of unemployment only counts those who actively looked for work in the last 4 weeks.

Black women’s unemployment fell from 8.5 to 7.6 percent; Latinas from 7.9 to 6.7 percent, White women from 5.0 to 4.5 percent, and Asian women (seasonally unadjusted) from 5.3 to 4.9 percent.

The risk of unemployment continues to vary strongly by race and ethnicity. Black adult women’s unemployment is 1.7 times higher than White women’s, and Latinas’ unemployment is 1.5 times higher.

IWPR analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics report was provided by C. Nicole Mason, Ariane Hegewisch, Chandra Childers, Shengwei Sun, and Eve Mefferd.