The October jobs numbers are out. In September, the unemployment rate for women was 7.5 percent. In October, that number increased to 7.7 percent.
Like many in the United States, we are concerned with women's economic prospects. Rising unemployment rates for women – especially high among young women and women of color – point to restricted opportunities. Employers are hesitant to add jobs during a period of economic uncertainty. The current administration has not helped: delayed deadlines on regulations regarding employment and health insurance, uncertainty about tax policy, and a seemingly impossible-to-control national debt all feed economic uncertainty.
For Black women, unemployment rose 1.5 percentage points in just one month, from 10.9 percent to 12.4 percent. For women in my age group, unemployment rose from 11 to 12.3 percent. This means more than 1 in 10 women in these categories – women who want to work and are actively seeking work – cannot find it. More than 1 in 10!
Of course women are concerned with many other issues this election cycle. But the President has missed the mark in his discussion about the cost of birth control or even student loans. These are important markets that many women participate in, but without an income, it's impossible to make ends meet. Women want our economy to recover by adding more jobs for men and women, so that we can work together to meet the challenges ahead. The President's policies have made it more difficult for entrepreneurs to create jobs, innovate, and grow our economy.
I'm sick of politicians – on the right and left – telling me how they are going to make my life easier by subsidizing the goods I buy (when subsidies, ironically, can actually lead to higher prices). Instead, as a working woman, I'd like to hear our leaders tell me how I am capable of paying for my own expenses when the economy is strong and I can find and keep a job.