Women left U.S. workforce last month, but in fewer numbers than a year ago

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Oct 8 (Businesshala) – Job market reform for American women took a blow in September, as did almost a year ago, when many school districts switched to online education. But the drop in the number of women working or looking for jobs last month was much smaller than in 2020 as more schools reopened this year.

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Data included in the monthly US employment report released by the Labor Department here on Friday shows that the labor market is facing recovery even after women have been disproportionately affected by job losses during the coronavirus pandemic. It also raises questions about whether the reopening of schools, which has contributed to this year’s improvement from September 2020, can in itself reduce the workforce participation gap between the sexes that has increased during the pandemic. It is adequate.

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About 350,000 women aged 20 and older left the workforce in September and August this year, while 321,000 men in the same age group joined the board.

This reduces the labor force for women aged 20 years and older by nearly 2 million from February of 2020, nearly double that for men in the same age group.

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“Women face tremendous headwinds as they try to re-enter the workforce after the pandemic,” C Nicole Mason, president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, said in a statement. “It will take time to see how women navigate what is hopefully a pandemic and what this means for their jobs and careers.”

Still, the report was an improvement from last year, when the labor force for women age 20 and older increased by more than 1 million in August and September after many school districts reopened with virtual education only. There was a decline, requiring many children to study from home.

This year, more women are returning to work as they are over-represented in some areas and a large number of school districts reopen here for individual instruction.

But some mothers are still overcoming barriers that have made it difficult for them to work, including the challenges of securing childcare here, labor shortages and the COVID-19 infection with temporary school closures in some districts. rate has increased.

Recruitment slowed further in September, when the US economy added 194,000 jobs after a gain of 366,000 jobs in August.

Employment in leisure and hospitality, an industry that is disproportionately staffed by women, increased by 74,000 in September. However, for the second month in a row, there was little change in restaurant and bar hiring.

The number of new US coronavirus cases has been declining since mid-September, a change that is expected to help the labor market recover more smoothly in the coming months.

Reporting by Zonal Marte; Editing by Dan Burns and Paul Simao

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