Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Monday that the recession induced by the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unusually damaging economic impact on women, the Associated Press reported.

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When the pandemic hit, many women reevaluated their work-life priorities during unprecedented times.

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“As schools closed and childcare services closed during the worst of the pandemic, it added to the responsibility and stress and made it difficult for some to work and put many out of work,” Powell said.

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“These burdens are real and have been an added challenge during already challenging times.”

The number of unemployed individuals, at 7.4 million, continues a downward trend since August and September, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even as the unemployment rate rose, working mothers lost jobs, while an average of 400,000 job opportunities were added each month.

With schools reopening, Powell predicted that mothers would be more free to return to work, yet that has not happened.

Indeed, Nick Bunker, director of economic research, said the amount that mothers of children 13 or younger were employed in September was about 4 percent below pre-pandemic levels.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

One big reason why so many moms leave the workforce is that the proportion of Americans who are either working or looking for work is below pre-pandemic levels, while employers are on hand to fill almost a record of available jobs. – Scrambling.

Powell said that in 2020, Fed data showed that 70 percent of parents reported that the pandemic disrupted childcare or in-person schooling, and 25 percent of moms in a Fed survey said they didn’t work or worked less.

Powell said, “Long-standing inequalities weigh on the productive capacity of our economy, which can realize its full potential only when everyone has a solid opportunity to contribute to and take advantage of widespread prosperity.” “

Powell’s remarks coincide with new research by Stephanie Aaronson, a former Fed economist who is director of economic studies at the Brookings Institution. Their research concluded that other factors also reduced women’s participation in the workforce.

The study found that as women were overrepresented in tough service industries such as restaurants and retail, many of them may be reluctant to return to those individual jobs until the pandemic is under control, the study found.

a new report, women in the workplace, by consulting firm McKinsey & Co., showed how the pandemic took a particularly heavy toll on working women. It found that one in three women had thought about quitting their job or “downshifting” their career in the past year. At the start of the pandemic, by contrast, the study authors said, just one in four women had considered quitting.

“Women are even more burned out now than they were a year ago,” the report said, “and the burnout gap between women and men has nearly doubled.”

Forty-two percent of women said they felt the burn this year, compared to 32 percent who said so in 2020. In contrast, a small proportion of men – 35 per cent – got burned this year compared to 28 per cent in 2020.