Hundreds of thousands of women — nearly eight times more than the number of men — dropped out of the US labor force last month, as the pandemic continues to exacerbate inequalities in America’s economy.
About 617,000 women left the workforce in September alone, compared with only 78,000 men, according to government data released Friday. Half of the women who dropped out were in the prime working age of 35-44.
While the huge number of dropouts also reduced the unemployment rate, the country-wide female jobless rate remained at 8% in September. For Black and Hispanic women, the unemployment rates are higher.
Women have been hit harder by this recession than by previous downturns. Industries that employ a lot of women, such as hospitality and leisure, are faring worse during the pandemic.
Women also are more likely to take on care responsibilities in the home,