Today’s November jobs report paints a picture of a labor force that is strong – adding 228,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate is at 17-year low (4.1 percent) and more employers are hanging hiring signs.
Even the hurricanes that hit our nation weren’t enough to slow down the economy. Although, hundreds of thousands of workers, especially those in the service sector, were pushed out of their jobs in August and September, they came back in October.
Women have a lot to be proud of with this jobs report. More than a million women joined the workforce over the past year. That translates to more women who are able to meet the needs of their families and experience upward mobility.
For those who think women are suffering now more than before, they should check out these statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for November 2016 compared to November 2017:
- 1.06 million: The increase in women’s employment. The number of women ages 16 and over who are employed increased from 71.22 to 72.28 million women.
- 4.1 Percent: The unemployment rate for women which fell from 4.5 percent.
- 369,000: The number of young women (ages 25-34) who gained employment.
- 3.1 Percent: The percent that paychecks rose by. This is the first time this number topped 3 percent in seven years
- 256,000: The number of women who stopped working more than one job.
- 2.6 million: The number of additional full-time workers (men and women). The number of part-time workers dropped by nearly three-quarters of a million workers.
(Data from BLS Tables A-1, A-9, A-16)
The economy is making strides and women in the labor are benefitting.
There is more progress to be made, especially on boosting earnings. While women have also made modest gains in industries such as retail and medicine, those jobs tend to be lower-paying positions.
We need Congress to deliver a final tax reform bill that cuts taxes for Americans and American businesses, simplifies the tax code, and encourages saving for education and the future. These policies, which will push wages higher, allow women to keep more of what they earn, and encourage women to start their own businesses, will help to push our labor force forward going into 2018.