American Association of University Women Assesses Impact of COVID-19 on Women’s Economic Security

A new study by the American Association of University Women shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the economic security of women by a far higher degree than for men. This is especially true for women of color.

Some of the key finds of the report are:

  • Between February and April 2020, women’s unemployment rate rose by 12.8%, compared to 9.9% for men.
  • Between the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020, unemployment rose from 5.4% to 12.7% for Black women; 2.5% to 11.6% for Asian women; 4.8% to 12.5% for Latinas; and 3.7% to 8.6% for white women.
  • Mothers of young children have lost jobs at three times the rate of fathers. Moms of children under 12 lost nearly 2.2 million jobs between February and August, a 12% drop: fathers saw a 4% drop of about 870,000 jobs.
  • In the third week of July 2020, 32.1% of unemployed women ages 25 to 44 were not working outside the home due to childcare demands, compared to only 12.1% of men in the same group.

The authors of the report conclude that “the challenges of caretaking — exacerbated by virtual schooling, closed daycare centers, and isolated seniors — have taken a significant toll on the work life of many women. With women still shouldering the bulk of domestic responsibilities, many have no option other than to reduce their work hours, put off advancement opportunities, or quit their jobs altogether. Because time out of the workforce affects lifetime earnings, and many employers still erroneously rely on previous wages to set salaries, the impact is likely to compound the gender and racial wage gaps, which are persistent contributors to economic inequity.”


Filed Under: Research/Study

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