WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 303,000 jobs were added in March. Employment in January and February combined was 22,000 jobs more than previously reported. The unemployment rate dipped slightly to 3.8% (seasonally adjusted), and the number of unemployed persons ticked down to 6.4 million. The labor force participation rate ticked up to 62.7% (still below pre-pandemic levels). 

For women:

  • The unemployment rate for adult women ticked up to 3.6% from 3.5%.
  • The unemployment rate jumped to 5.6% for black women from 4.4% but fell to 4.5% from 5% for Hispanic women.
  • Women’s labor force participation remained the same at 57.6%, still below pre-pandemic levels.

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

“The jobs market is turbulent for women at a time when life is increasingly unaffordable. Women’s unemployment rate keeps rising; meanwhile, their labor force participation rate has yet to return to its pre-pandemic level—signaling that other circumstances are keeping many women out of traditional jobs. Also, many industries where jobs are growing do not carry high-paying positions, such as food and beverage and retail, which makes it difficult to afford necessities such as rent and groceries—up over 50% since 2019.

“Women are flexibility maximizers. To balance priorities such as caregiving for children and aging parents, they are cobbling together flexible careers. That may include working multiple jobs, taking on side hustles, or starting their own small businesses. Independent contracting is a critical avenue for women to work on their schedules, but this work arrangement is in the crosshairs of the Biden administration’s newly enacted labor rule.

“We will not stop raising the alarm over how women will be negatively and disproportionately impacted by this regulation that robs them of their choice over when, where, and how to work.”    

Read the stories of women and men who stand to lose flexible opportunities HERE.

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.