WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 261,000 jobs were added in October. The unemployment rate rose to 3.7% (seasonally adjusted) from 3.5% and the number of unemployed persons rose by 306,000 to 6.1 million. The unemployment rate for women rose by 0.3 percentage points to 3.7%. The unemployment rate for blacks and Hispanics rose to 5.9% and 4.2%, respectively.

Overall, labor force participation fell marginally by 0.1 percentage points to 62.2%. Women’s labor force participation fell to 56.7% from 56.8%. 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:

“From red-hot to lukewarm, this labor market is quickly turning cold and women should be concerned. Some 200,000 fewer women were employed last month, driving up the unemployment rate for women to 3.7%. Women’s labor force participation rate continued to fall for the third month in a row. At this pace, it may never fully recover to pre-pandemic levels.

“Workers are beginning to see that the leverage they enjoyed during the pandemic that led to the Great Resignation, may be over. Instead of job hopping for more pay, workers are beginning to hunker down: job quitting rates have slowed to a modest pace; job hunters report longer times to find new positions despite over 10 million open jobs; and layoffs and hiring freezes are taking up in the tech sector. Despite pay increases, wages are still below the inflation rate leaving workers with an effective pay cut.

“The labor force is now feeling the impacts of aggressive Federal Reserve policies to combat nearly 40-year-high inflation. We did not have to be here. President Biden and his congressional allies opted to pass trillions of dollars of reckless, inflationary spending with no regard for the consequences. Americans are paying the costs of these consequences: high prices, high energy costs, shortages, and massive disruptions to their livelihoods. Now, add a faltering labor market to that list.”

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.