WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 467,000 jobs were added in January, beating expectations. The overall unemployment rate ticked up 0.1 percentage points to 4%. The unemployment rate for women held steady at 3.6%. Labor force participation also increased to 62.2%, a level not seen since March 2020. 

Hiring at the end of 2021 was revised up significantly. The U.S. added 510,000 jobs in December instead of an estimated 199,000 jobs and 647,000 in November compared to the estimate of 249,000.

Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) at Independent Women’s Forum, issued the following statement:

“Hiring ended strong last year, and January’s jobs growth adds another data point underscoring the strength of the labor market and the economy despite the Omicron wave and the government’s response to it. 

“The fears of Omicron-fueled employment disruptions did not materialize, and that’s a positive sign, especially for women. Service-oriented companies that rely on large crowds and person-to-person interactions with customers such as leisure and hospitality made significant gains last month, adding 151,000 jobs. We find women concentrated in these positions, which explains why more women appear to be returning to the workforce.

“Here’s the challenge: Shifts back to virtual learning for public schools have been disruptive to working moms and dads. Working-parent employment losses have been concentrated among those with school-aged children, not those with preschoolers. Childcare subsidies and universal pre-K are unneeded and will trigger negative consequences for families.   

“The message to policymakers is clear: stop capitalizing on Covid-19 fear-mongering with every new variant to impose Covid-related mandates and limit normal activities such as in-person learning. Americans are ready to get back to normal and they are ready to get back to work. With 11 million unfilled jobs, the opportunities are there.”



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