WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 263,000 jobs were added in November. The unemployment rate rose to 3.7% (seasonally adjusted), and the number of unemployed persons dipped to 6 million from 6.1 million in October. The unemployment rate for women fell by 0.1 percentage points to 3.6%. 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 62.1%. Women’s labor force participation fell to 56.5% from 56.7%. 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:

“This jobs report seems moderate on the surface but contains signals that the labor market is worse than the headlines reveal. For the fourth month in a row, the overall labor force participation rate has fallen as more Americans left the workforce. Wage growth, which has been a buffer for workers against near 40-year-high inflation, has started cooling, making it even harder for workers to maintain their quality of living. 

“Most concerningly, layoffs are on the rise and spreading to different industries. Amazon, Apple, Meta, Lyft, Twitter, and other tech firms have frozen hiring or laid thousands of workers off. This week we saw a slew of media announcements: CNN, The Washington Post, NPR, Gannett, Politico, and Parade are laying off workers or shuttering operations. Interest rate hikes have triggered mass layoffs across the real estate industry from agents to mortgage specialists. Now, consumer-driven industries are laying off workers as consumers shift from buying stuff to dining and leisure. Retail lost 44,000 jobs while transportation and warehousing lost another 15,000 jobs. From retail to real estate, female workers are now finding that the jobs they enjoy and rely upon, especially for flexible work, are disappearing.

“Yet, the Biden administration is advancing an anti-worker and anti-woman agenda by cracking down on independent contracting. A proposed rule by the Department of Labor will make it difficult for the nation’s over 60 million freelancers, who prefer and depend on flexibility and autonomy, to retain their independent status and stay in the labor force. The December 13th deadline to let the administration know how harmful this rule could be is fast approaching. Women and workers cannot be silent while Washington robs them of critical opportunities. ”  

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.