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2.2M women have left the workforce since February: analysis

2.2M women have left the workforce since February: analysis

Nearly 2.2 million women have exited the workforce since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report states.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women have been disproportionately financially affected by the pandemic, accounting for 54.5 percent of overall net job loss since February.

A little more than half of the 12.1 million jobs lost in the first few months of the pandemic have returned as the economy has made some growth in recent months. The October unemployment rate for women ages 20 and over was still almost double what it was in February, however, with 1 in every 15 women unemployed (6.5 percent) vs. 3.1 percent at the beginning of the pandemic.

Among the women who were most financially impacted over the last few months were Black women, Latina women and young women (aged 20-24). About 1 in 11 Black women (9.2 percent) and Latina women (9 percent) were still unemployed in October, with even higher rates for younger Black and Latina women.

The hardest hit group of women remains those with disabilities; since February, unemployment figures for disabled women have gone up nearly 7 percentage points to 14.2 percent last month, or nearly 1 in 7 women.