WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 236,000 jobs were added in March. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% (seasonally adjusted) from 3.6%, and the number of unemployed persons fell to 5.8 million. The labor force participation rose marginally by 0.1 percentage points to 62.6%.

Women-specific data:

  • The unemployment rate for women fell to 3.4%
  • The unemployment rate fell to 4.2% for black women and to 4.5% for Hispanic women
  • Women’s labor force participation fell to 57.1%, 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 signals that the labor market is catching up to the realities of a slowing economy. Employers are adding fewer jobs, and those new hires are concentrated in industries vulnerable to slowing consumer spending such as leisure and hospitality—all industries overrepresented by women.

“A significant shift is underway in the labor force to prioritize flexibility and freedom through freelancing. Over 46% of the labor force freelanced last year as millions of workers willingly left traditional jobs. Freelancers overwhelmingly prefer their independent status to W-2 employment. Women are the biggest beneficiaries of a more flexible economy, as it allows them to balance motherhood or caregiving with income generation.

“We’re putting Washington on notice: passing the job-killing Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, imposing new restrictions on independent contracting through regulations from the Department of Labor, or confirming Julie Su, an adversary of independent contractors in California, as Labor Secretary would be destructive to freelancing in America. Now more than ever, Americans, especially women, need access to flexible 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.