Coronavirus/COVID 19 Resources> Learn More!

Job Decline Hits Women More Severely Than Men

In the four weeks since mid-March, 20.5 million jobs were lost, according to new payroll data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women bore the majority of job losses, 11.3 million (55 percent of the total), compared with 9.2 million jobs lost by men. After women were more than half of all workers on payroll for the first three month of this year, their share has now fallen to 49.2 percent. The number of jobs lost by women in just one month was five times higher than the total decline in women’s employment
during the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

Employment declined in all major sectors of the economy since February. Job losses have been particularly severe in sectors where women are the majority of the workforce, such as Leisure and Hospitality (women lost 4.4 million jobs compared with 3.7 million lost by men) and Educational and Health Services (women lost 2.2 million compared with 443 thousand lost by men). These two sectors alone account for the majority (56.5 percent) of total job losses for women since February. Job losses in Retail Trade (women lost 1.3 million compared with 836 thousand lost by men) are the third biggest area of job loss for women.

Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research