WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that employment rose by 311,000. The unemployment rate rose to 3.6% (seasonally adjusted), and the number of unemployed persons remains rose to 5.9 million. The labor force participation rose marginally by 0.1 percentage points to 62.5%. 

Women-specific data:

  • Unemployment rate for women rose to 3.5%
  • Unemployment rate rose to 5.1% for black women and to 4.8% for Hispanic women
  • Women’s labor force participation rose marginally to 57.2%, below pre-pandemic levels

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

“The March jobs report was solid as it signals women are coming back to the workforce. There were still red flags. The unemployment rate for all women and across racial groups (white, Black, and Hispanic) rose last month. Once again, job gains were largely in women-concentrated industries–leisure and hospitality, retail trade, government, and health care. However, a job is little consolation to a woman whose paycheck is slashed by stubbornly-high inflation and the unaffordability of basic goods and services.  

“Independent contracting is a lifeline for women. This work status offers flexibility, freedom, autonomy, and fulfillment.  Not surprisingly, women comprise over half of the 60+ million Americans who freelanced last year. 

“Leave it to partisans in Washington to break what is working for women. President Biden’s $6.8 trillion FY 2024 budget would accelerate inflation, raise taxes on entrepreneurs and small businesses, and boost resources for the IRS to bury independent contractors in audits. The anti-woman and anti-worker Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act was also reintroduced last week. That bill would crack down on independent contracting and overturn right-to–work laws nationwide. Instead of trying to shoehorn workers into outdated work models, Congress and the Biden administration should respect women’s right to choose the work they prefer.”

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.