The most recent BLS data shows the economy added 678,000 jobs in February 2022, with women making up 51.2% of those gains. Despite these strong gains, the economy is still down a net 2.1 million jobs the since February 2020 and women are down over 1.4 million net jobs since February 2020. Women now make up more than two in three (68.5%) net job losers since the start of this crisis.
Despite strong jobs numbers, the report also shows that 48,000 women ages 20 and over left the labor force last month, meaning they are neither working nor looking for work. This brings the total number of women who have left the labor force since February 2020 to over 1.1 million. By comparison, 479,000 men ages 20 and over entered the labor force last month. This means women now make up all labor force leavers since February 2020.
Unemployment rates dropped or remained the same for almost every group by race/ethnicity ages 20 and older with one notetable exception: Black women. The unemployment rate for Black women aged 20 and over increased from 5.8% in January to 6.1% in February 2022. Meanwhile, while many other groups were joining the labor force last month, 31,000 Black women left.