WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 431,000 jobs were added in March, falling below job growth expectations. The overall unemployment rate edged down 0.2 percentage points to 3.6%. The unemployment rate for women fell to 3.3%. Overall, labor force participation edged up slightly to 62.4% while women’s labor force participation ticked up slightly to 58.2%. Both are still below pre-pandemic levels.

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

“The women’s unemployment rate fell to 3.3% while their labor force participation rate ticked up to 62.4%. Women are coming back to the workforce, slowly but surely. Several of the industries with consistent gains are workplaces where women are concentrated–leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and retail trade. 

“Despite these gains, we still have a ways to go before women’s employment returns to pre-pandemic levels. At some level, we should accept that some women are choosing to stay at home because they find greater fulfillment in homeschooling and caregiving than they do in the traditional workforce. Other women have started their own businesses and are pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities that are not fully captured in this data.

“The employment recovery should be no surprise as pandemic policy measures have nearly all been lifted and economic activity is returning to normal. This was bound to happen; it’s not the result of the White House’s over-the-top spending agenda. Furthermore, consistent in-person learning in K-12 schools after a turbulent January — when school districts randomly reverted to remote instruction due to Omicron — means that parents finally have certainty and stability to return to work. This undermines the left’s argument that we need to provide universal Pre-K and childcare to get parents back to work.”  



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.

Independent Women’s Forum’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) aims to educate the public about how government policies impact people’s opportunities for economic development and upward mobility.