The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data showed that women gained 162,000 jobs in November 2022. 263,000 jobs were added to the economy overall in November, meaning women gained 61.6% of the jobs added last month. This marks 23 months of consecutive job gains for women and means women now hold 409,000 more net jobs than in February 2020; by comparison, men hold 635,000 more net jobs now than in February 2020.

However, 240,000 women ages 20 and over left the labor force last month, meaning they are now neither working nor looking for work. This means there are over 1 million fewer women in the labor force now than in February 2020, before the pandemic started. Meanwhile, 558,000 more men are in the labor force now than in February. Women’s labor force participation rate decreased from 58.0% in October to 57.8% in November. This is one and a half percentage points below women’s pre-pandemic labor force participation rate of 59.3%. Women make up 100% of net labor force leavers ages 20 and over since February 2020.

Note that BLS’s jobs report data comes from two separate but simultaneously released datasets. Data on jobs added to the economy comes from a survey of businesses, or the Current Employment Survey (CES). Data on unemployment and labor force participation comes from a survey of people, the Current Population Survey (CPS). These surveys complement one another but sometimes tell different stories.