Women's Return to Workforce Bolsters Economy
New York, NY, March 8, 2023-"American women are staging a return to the workforce that is helping propel the economy in the face of high inflation and rising interest rates,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
“Women have gained more jobs than men for four straight months, including in January’s hiring surge, pushing them to hold more than 49.8% of all nonfarm jobs. Female workers last edged higher than men on U.S. payrolls in late 2019, before the pandemic sent nearly 12 million women out of jobs, compared with 10 million men.
“The onset of Covid-19 and social-distancing measures in early 2020 struck female-dominated jobs in services that require close personal contact, such as housekeepers, nurses and daycare instructors. Many mothers in white-collar jobs also left the workforce to care for their children after schools moved to remote instruction.
“Even as job opportunities grew a year later, nearly 1.5 million fewer mothers were actively in the labor force in March 2021 than in February 2020 amid child-care disruptions and health concerns. Some economists feared women would face challenges re-entering the longer they were out of work.
“Those worries are abating. Women are rejoining the labor force and filling service-sector jobs, as they shake off the effects of pandemic disruptions and the sector goes on a hiring spree. “Virtual schooling, daycare closures and fear of Covid-19 are subsiding. Other factors, such as the lure of higher pay, adoption of remote work and financial pressures, are spurring more women to seek jobs.
“The return of women to the workforce is powering the economy’s underlying source of strength, the services sector, as fast-rising interest rates and elevated inflation have triggered recession risks. Many women are reaping wage gains as employers compete for a limited pool of workers, which is helping support renewed growth in consumer spending.”