WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that just 199,000 jobs were added in December, falling far below expectations. The overall unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 3.9%. The unemployment rate for women fell for another month in a row to 3.6% as about 300,000 more women were added to the labor force.
The BLS confirmed this week as well that there are 10.6 million unfilled positions and labor force participation remains below pre-pandemic levels.
Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity at Independent Women’s Forum, issued the following statement:
“Falling women’s unemployment rate coupled with hundreds of thousands of women joining the labor force for another month is a good sign. Women are getting back to work. They are finding higher wages and greater flexibility.
“However, the latest disruptions to their children’s in-person learning may keep many women sidelined from the workforce going forward. For too many working parents, January 2022 feels like March 2020. Last month’s job report does not capture the likely impacts of last-minute school closures rippling across the country that have sent parents scrambling to line up care for their homebound kids. Look for those disruptions to appear next month.
“Parents are screaming for stability and certainty regarding schools. Unemployed workers cannot fully participate in the labor force if teachers’ unions are strong-arming school systems to shift to remote learning for the foreseeable future with little notice to parents. Kids need to be back in school consistently for their education, mental and emotional health, and for the sake of our workforce.”
Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.