Women Displaced From Workforce by Covid Remain Disproportionally Absent

New York, NY, October 11, 2021-Many workers displaced by last year’s pandemic, especially women, have yet to return to the labor market, acting as a check against stronger job growth, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“And some women who did return haven’t been able to stay in the job as the Delta variant of Covid-19 raised fears and scrambled child-care plans. In September, women lost 26,000 payroll jobs.

“The unemployment rate fell to 4.8% last month from 5.2% in August, the Labor Department said, but only added 194,000 jobs in September, the smallest gain since December 2020. Many workers, especially women, exited the labor force last month, leading to a smaller pool of labor and driving the unemployment rate lower.

“Many people are avoiding the workforce for fear of catching the coronavirus, according to an August survey by the job-search website Indeed. Other factors include parents not wanting to take jobs outside their home at a time when Covid outbreaks have pushed some classes into quarantine and led to temporary school closures, and daycare centers have limited staff. For others, the pandemic caused some to re-evaluate the choice between working and staying out of the workforce to care for family members.

“The slowing growth in the job market is especially apparent among women, whose labor-force participation shrank among both the older and younger.”