Watch CBS News

Report: Fewer Women In Labor Force, Gender Gap Widens In US

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A new jobs report shows thousands of Americans are finding work again but the gender gap is less promising.

The United States added 467,000 new jobs in January, but over 1 million women who left the job force in early 2020 have not returned.

An analysis by the National Women's Law Center shows that while men have regained job losses in the last two years, women are behind, with nearly 1.1 million fewer women in the labor force.

The report shows that of the 2.9 million jobs lost in the economy since February 2020, women account for over 63% of them.

"It's a hard pandemic or no pandemic," said Kelsey Damon, from Harris, Minnesota.

Damon had gone to part-time status for her project coordinator position after the birth of her first child.

Then, the pandemic hit. Damon says constant child illnesses and daycare quarantines were the final straw in her deciding to leave her job.

"We talked about it for a long time so by the time it was happening it was this is going to be the best thing," she said.

University of St. Thomas business professor Kevin Henderson noted that many of these unfulfilled jobs are with women who chose not to go back to their jobs. He says there are several reasons behind that.

Henderson said they include disruptions to child care and schools, and women tending to take on caregiver roles more than men.

"Women report higher burnout than men," Henderson said. "Companies need to find ways to offer that flexibility and burnout is a problem so they need to find ways to help alleviate that."

Damon agreed, saying she doesn't plan on going back to the workforce at this time but would consider it if it were a fully remote position with flexibility.

Experts say the wage gap among men and women also plays a role as well as the lack of paid leave options.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.