WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 150,000 jobs were added in October. Meanwhile, employment in August and September combined was 101,000 jobs lower than previously reported. The unemployment rate rose to 3.9% (seasonally adjusted), and the number of unemployed persons rose to 6.5 million. The labor force participation fell back to 62.7% from 62.8%. 

For women:

  • The unemployment rate for adult women spiked to 3.3% from 3.1%.
  • The unemployment rate spiked to 5.3% from 4.5% for black women but ticked down to 4.1% from 4.3% for Hispanic women.
  • Women’s labor force participation ticked up to 57.6%, still below its February 2020 (pre-pandemic) level.

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

“The labor economy is backsliding. Unemployment ticked up for all women to 3.3% and spiked to 5.3% for Black women. Three years later, women’s labor force participation still has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. If trends hold, the economy may lose many female workers for good.

“Women are raising kids, caregiving for aging parents and sick spouses, and managing their own health issues (especially after COVID-19). Increasingly, they find flexible opportunities in the freelance workforce as the means to balance employment with other priorities. Some 35 million women freelanced last year comprising just under half of all independent workers. Two out of three women say that being a caregiver influenced their decision to work independently. 

“President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress should listen to women. Many of them do not want to be reclassified as employees but to remain independent contractors. If the Biden Department of Labor’s independent contractor rule is finalized or if Congress passes the flexibility-killing PRO Act (Protecting the Right to Organize), women will lose flexible opportunities and livelihoods. Meanwhile, women-owned small businesses will be destroyed. Evidence A: Look at how California decimated its freelance workforce through AB 5.”



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.