Women's Bureau

07/21/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/21/2021 11:32

More Than Statistics: How COVID-19 is Impacting Working Women

This pandemic has disproportionately impacted women. The adult women's employment rate (54.3%) is at its lowest pre-pandemic level since September 1988 (54.1%). In June, there were 7.2% fewer adult Black women, 5.9% fewer adult Hispanic women, and 4.8% fewer adult white women employed compared with February 2020.

Mothers of young children had the steepest reductions in employment during 2020. Among mothers with children under the age of 13, 1.2 million fewer mothers were working, representing loss of about 7% of employed mothers ages 25-54.

But working women are more than just statistics. They are human beings with names, unique stories and individual challenges that require solutions. To meet the demands of a recovering economy, without giving short shrift to family and individual care needs, these women, and so many more who toil in anonymity, need a comprehensive national paid leave program, access to affordable child care, and workplaces willing to accommodate the needs of working families. This moment is ripe with opportunity to re-envision the full spectrum of work-family policies necessary to create a workforce that is better and stronger than it was pre-pandemic.

Eleanor Delamater is a presidential management fellow and Gretchen Livingston is a survey statistician for the U.S. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau. Follow the bureau on Twitter: @WB_DOL.

We want to continue to hear about your unique challenges and what solutions you need in order to best advocate for all working women. Please share your story with us: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/wb/wb100/story