Women’s Employment Took a Hard Hit From COVID-19, But the Gender Gap Has Now Evaporated

New data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that women were more likely than men to be unemployed after the COVID-19 pandemic began. Many women work in service industries that were hit hard by the pandemic as retail stores, restaurants, etc. were shut down or operated at lower capacities.

But since October, seven months after the pandemic took hold in the United States, the unemployment rate for women has been lower than the rate for men. The data shows that in February 2020, the unemployment rate for women was a very low 3.1 percent. The rate for men that month was 3.2 percent. When the pandemic produced an economic shutdown, by April the unemployment rate for women shot up to 15.5 percent compared to an unemployment rate for men that stood at 13.1 percent.

From that time, the unemployment rates for both men and women had declined significantly but are still nearly double the rate that existed in February 2020, before the pandemic hit. In October 2020, the unemployment rate for women dipped below the rate for men for the first time since the start of the crisis. It has remained slightly lower since that time. The latest data shows an unemployment rate for women of 5.9 percent compared to a 6 percent rate for men.



Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study

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