• Numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the participation of women in the U.S. labor market is still below that of men.
  • In 2020, 1.64 million U.S. women exited the labor force, compared with 1.27 million U.S. men.
  • Black men and women have been disproportionately affected.

In his first network interview since his inauguration, President Joe Biden told CBS that he considers the exit of more than a million women from the U.S. labor force in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency.

Numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the participation of women in the U.S. labor market is still below that of men. While the number of white men and women exiting the labor force in between Q1 and Q4 of 2020 differed only slightly, Black men and women were disproportionately affected. For Latinos, more men than average stayed in the labor force, while women experienced the highest labor force losses of all races and ethnic groups.

In total numbers, 1.64 million U.S. women exited the labor force until the end of last year, compared with 1.27 million U.S. men. Labor force participation rates include those searching for a job, but exclude those not currently looking for employment.

How COVID-19 affected the U.S. labor force
Image: Statista