The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare the disastrous consequences of longstanding racial and gender inequities in our economy. Women – and Black women and Latinas in particular – are overrepresented among the front-line workers who are risking their lives to provide health care, child care, and other essential services. Women are also far more likely than men to work in part-time, low-paid, and tipped jobs, meaning women were often struggling to make ends meet before this crisis ever hit – and faced a higher risk of losing their jobs as retail stores, restaurants, and other service sector businesses were forced to lay off workers or close their doors entirely.
Between February and April, women lost 12.1 million jobs, reversing an entire decade of job gains since the end of the Great Recession. Women of color have been hit particularly hard by these losses, with Black women and Latinas facing historically high unemployment rates since the pandemic began. As the economic crisis continues, the analyses featured here will crunch the numbers from the monthly jobs reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and track its effects on women.