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Fortune | U.S. policymakers have one last chance to avoid a recession: Find the 1.5 million women who vanished from our workforce

Fortune Magazine

Nov 17, 2022

Want to stick a soft landing? Try sticking to an agenda of gender equity. By closing the gender equity gap in the U.S. labor market, we can achieve the coveted soft landing policy leaders are striving for. And in doing so, we can reap the $1.789 trillion upside of labor market equity.

Something fascinating happens when we view the economy through the intersectional gender lens–     that is, when we disaggregate economic data by gender plus race and ethnicity. Right before the pandemic hit, women’s labor force participation rate had climbed to 59.2%. As of the October 2022 jobs report, the rate had dropped to 58%. When we deal in percentages that control for population growth, that means 1.549 million women have vanished from the labor force since February 2020.

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