The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data showed 786,000 people ages 16 and over joined the labor force last month, meaning they are now working or looking for work. This included 152,000 women ages 20 and over and 301,000 men ages 20 and over. This brings women’s labor force participation rate up to 58.4% in August compared to 58.3% in July. This is still nearly one percentage point below women’s pre-pandemic labor force participation rate of 59.3%, with 427,000 fewer women in the labor force in August 2022 than in February 2020. Women make up 100% of net labor force leavers ages 20 and over since February 2020. However, these gains mask losses for Black men and women. While white men, white women, Latinos, Latinas, Asian men, and Asian women ages 20 and over all experienced increases in labor force size in August, 57,000 Black men ages 20 and over and 45,000 Black women ages 20 and over left the labor force last month.
In August, 315,000 jobs were added to the economy—women gained 92,000 of these jobs, which is 29.2% of the total gains. This marks 20 consecutive months of job growth for women but still leaves them down a net 98,000 jobs since February 2020. Meanwhile, men have recovered all their net job losses and now hold 338,000 more jobs in August 2022 than in February 2020.