Women’s March on the Soaring Unemployment Rates and its Impact on Women

NEW YORK, NY – As reported by CNN on Friday, the US economy lost 140,000 jobs in December – all of which were held by women. In response to this grim jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Women’s March has released the following statement:

This new data is further proof that the economic crisis has cut women in the workforce the deepest – and women of color in particular. Women earn their livelihoods in industries that COVID has impacted the most -- healthcare, education, hospitality, and retail -- jobs that are difficult or impossible to do remotely. Further, childcare and school closures have made it next to impossible for many parents, especially mothers, to remain in the workforce. Parents, especially women caring for children, have been abandoned by our government to manage these connected crises on our own: and those of us who lack disposable income and savings to throw at these problems suffer disproportionately. 

The data shows that Black and Latinx women have experienced even higher unemployment rates than their white counterparts. This is true now and was long before the pandemic began. Women, especially women of color, have faced economic, educational, and social setbacks for centuries; Unfortunately, the pandemic has obstructed the progress towards a more just, equitable workplace for women.

As we move forward, we must immediately focus on urgently working to address these inequalities, because they’re not going to disappear when the public health crisis subsides. The collateral economic damage that this pandemic has caused is already threatening to reverse the hard-fought progress that women have made in the workforce. The Biden administration must take action to reverse this troubling trend. It is not enough to simply acknowledge the issue. We need a concrete economic agenda that centers women, with a focus on working class women and women of color.