According to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data, women have been hit the hardest by job loss as a result of the pandemic. Gains made over the last decade have been wiped out by the coronavirus crisis, leading some economists to describe the crisis as a “she-cession.”
“This is historic and unprecedented,” said C. Nicole Mason, president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “Women have never been the face of the economic impact in terms of job loss. This is really uncharted territory.”
In April, the unemployment rate for women increased to almost 3 percentage points above the rate for men — 16.2 percent compared with 13.5 percent.
Hispanic women’s unemployment rate reached about 20 percent in May, with Black women second at 16 percent compared to a 15 percent unemployment rate for white women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Young workers and women of color have experienced high unemployment rates because they are more likely to work in leisure and retail industries, which have been closed for business during the crisis.
But even in industries where men are more dominant, women are losing more jobs. For example, women make up about one-quarter of all jobs in transportation and warehousing, but represent 39 percent of job losses in those sectors.
A full recovery for women is expected to be slow as schools and childcare centers remain closed. A recent survey found that women report they have been doing a greater share of the schooling and parenting throughout the pandemic. This responsibility may continue if schools close as a result of a second wave of the virus.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC
Through the analysis of 350 images captured by private satellites, researchers say dramatic spikes in auto traffic around hospitals in Wuhan, China suggest the coronavirus outbreak may have begun in the late summer and early fall 2019.
Dr. John Brownstein, the Harvard Medical professor who led the research, said the traffic surge occurred at the same time that searches for symptoms closely associated with the coronavirus increased on a Chinese internet search.
As states continue to lift more restrictions and protests persist nationwide, reports of new coronavirus cases show the pandemic is nowhere near over. Twenty-two of U.S. states are seeing an uptick of new coronavirus cases. Twenty states have reported decreases and eight states are reporting no change in new cases in recent days.
The same is true in other countries. Sunday marked the most Covid-19 cases reported to the World Health Organization in a single day since the pandemic began, with more than 136,000 cases.
Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle report the U.S. COVID-19 death toll could exceed 145,000 people by August. So far, almost 112,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Tuesday all large outdoor events across the city are canceled through Labor Day, including Lollapalooza, Chicago Jazz Festival, and most programs at the Chicago Riverwalk, due to the ongoing pandemic.