The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 199,000 jobs were added in November. Meanwhile, employment in September and October combined was 35,000 jobs lower than previously reported. The unemployment rate fell to 3.7% (seasonally adjusted), and the number of unemployed persons dipped to 6.3 million. The labor force participation ticked up to 62.8% from 62.7%. But the jobs report signals troubling trends for women, experts say.

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For women:

  • The unemployment rate for adult women fell back to 3.1% from 3.3%.
  • The unemployment rate fell to 4.8% from 5.3% for black women and to 3.9% from 4.1% for Hispanic women.
  • Women’s labor force participation ticked down to 57.5%, still below its February 2020 (pre-pandemic) level.

Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) at Independent Women’s Forum, issued the following statement: “The labor market holds troubling trends for women’s employment.  Compared to this time last year, fewer women are in the labor force overall; and of those who are, more women are holding multiple jobs. The rising costs of everyday life are robbing hardworking men and women of their hard-earned pay. 

“Women are hungry for opportunity, but the realities of parenthood and caregiving require them to pursue greater flexibility. According to McKinsey polling, one in five women credit flexibility with helping them stay in their job or avoid reducing their hours. Flexibility not only aids career advancement but provides women with more focused time for their work and helps them avoid burnout.

“The Biden administration should pay close attention to how their regulatory and legislative labor agenda would destroy flexibility. The unpassed Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO) and the Department of Labor’s impending independent contracting rule and overtime rule will also reduce flexible opportunities for workers in ways that will hurt women’s progress.”