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The Hill | Women’s labor force participation set back three years due to COVID-19

Nov 1, 2020

COVID-19 has set the U.S. back three years in terms of the number of women participating in the labor force. As a gender economist, this reversal concerns me because it concerns our collective economic recovery and stability as a nation.

The alarm bells were already sounding by the time the August jobs report came out, which showed that women were 66 percent of those who had left the labor force since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. For reference, women made up 47 percent of the labor force pre-COVID, signifying a 19-point gender gap in the share of pandemic-related job losses.

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