The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data showed a strong month for women in terms of jobs added and women’s labor force participation. The economy added 431,000 jobs in March 2022, with women making up 62.9% of those gains, or 271,000 jobs. Even with this progress, the economy is still down nearly 1.6 million net jobs since February 2020, and women are down over 1.1 million net jobs since February 2020.

249,000 women ages 20 and over joined the labor force last month, meaning they are now working or looking for work. However, there are still 872,000 fewer women in the labor force now than in February 2020. By comparison, 493,000 more men ages 20 and over are in the labor force now than in February 2020. Women make up all labor force leavers since February 2020, and ongoing caregiving demands are playing a role in keeping women out of the workforce.  In addition, the child care sector is still missing one in nine jobs lost since the pandemic began—and job losses in this sector make it harder to secure the child care that many women need to return to work.