The global crisis triggered by the pandemic has had a dystopian flavor. Between civil unrest, massive stresses placed upon the US electoral process, long-term lockdowns in Australia, vaccine delivery failures, and the general sense that "this may be bad for awhile", data is showing that women are taking the brunt of the impact when it comes to job-loss.
Data compiled by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) shows that over the course of 2020, close to 2.2 million women stopped working or looking for work between February and October.
And now the US December employment report has been released, and it tells a grim story. According to an analysis of the report by the NWLC, women accounted for 111% of the jobs lost over the month. The Labor Department announced on Friday that the US economy lost 140,000 jobs in December, but that women lost 156,000 jobs overall during the month. The reason the total jobs lost was less than that was because men gained 16,000 jobs - a new definition for adding insult to injury.
Black and Latina women working in retail, restaurants, and other "essential" service-sector industries, often for very low pay, have been disproportionately laid off amid the pandemic's lockdowns and business closures. Last month, as worsening coronavirus casualties led to new shutdowns, leisure and hospitality employers cut 498,000 jobs - almost 57% of which were held by women.
Sign up to get our monthly newsletter and updates about RNN.