Despite U.S. Employment Gains, Many Women Remain on Labor-Market Sideline
September’s unemployment rate is down, driven by a smaller pool of workers
Many workers displaced by last year’s pandemic, especially women, have yet to return to the labor market, acting as a check against stronger job growth. And some women who did return haven’t been able to stay in the job as the Delta variant of Covid-19 raised fears and scrambled child-care plans. In September, women lost 26,000 payroll jobs.
The unemployment rate fell to 4.8% last month from 5.2% in August, the Labor Department said, but only added 194,000 jobs in September, the smallest gain since December 2020. Many workers, especially women, exited the labor force last month, leading to a smaller pool of labor and driving the unemployment rate lower.