The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly jobs report shows that the economy gained 379,000 net jobs in February. Women accounted for 64.6% of net job gain last month, gaining 245,000 jobs while men gained 134,000. Even with February’s gains, however, more than 2 in 5 (42.4%) of the over 22.3 million jobs lost in March and April 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis have not returned. In February, 26,000 women entered the labor force, meaning they are either working or looking for work. Even with this slight gain, the net number of women who have left the labor force since the start of the pandemic remains at over 2.3 million. Women’s labor force participation rate was 57.0% last month, compared to 59.2% in February 2020. Before the pandemic, women’s labor force participation rate had not been this low since 1988. By comparison, more than 1.8 million men have left the labor force since February 2021. Their labor force participation rate was 69.6% in February 2021, compared to 71.6% in February 2020.
Note: NWLC’s monthly jobs day analyses are generally not updated after publication and are provided for archival purposes. Please visit our main jobs day page for the most up-to-date analyses.