WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 216,000 jobs were added in December. Meanwhile, employment in October and November combined was 71,000 jobs fewer than previously reported. The unemployment rate remained the same at 3.7% (seasonally adjusted), and the number of unemployed persons held steady at 6.3 million. The labor force participation rate fell to 62.5% from 62.8% (still below pre-pandemic levels). 

For women:

  • The unemployment rate for adult women rose to 3.3% from 3.1%.
  • The unemployment rate held steady at 4.8% for black women and spiked to 4.5% from 3.9% for Hispanic women.
  • Women’s labor force participation fell to 57.1%, still below pre-pandemic levels.

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

“Women continue facing challenges in this labor market while households struggle to make ends meet. Women’s unemployment rose last month, while their labor force participation still has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels nearly four years later. Joblessness among Hispanic women spiked over half a percentage point last month. Even job growth in industries concentrated with women is slowing (leisure and hospitality) or declining (department store retail). And, for another month, women lead the way in multiple job holders as more workers—women and men—are cobbling together incomes from two or three jobs to afford rising prices on goods and housing costs. 

“Now more than ever, we need access to flexible income-generating opportunities. These are exactly the arrangements that the Biden administration has in its crosshairs with its soon-to-be finalized independent contractor rule from the Department of Labor. We believe the proposed rules will be detrimental to small businesses (especially those that are women-owned) and flexible work. By restricting independent contracting, many women will lose the ability to be their own boss and balance important personal priorities such as raising kids, caregiving, and addressing their own health issues. By undermining economic opportunity, Biden is waging war on the entrepreneurial spirit of America.” 



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.