WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 272,000 jobs were added in May. Employment in March and April combined was 15,000 jobs lower than previously reported. The unemployment rate ticked up 4% (seasonally adjusted), and the number of unemployed persons ticked to up 6.6 million. The labor force participation rate remained at 62.7% (still below pre-pandemic levels). 

For women:

  • The unemployment rate for adult women ticked down to 3.4% from 3.5%.
  • The unemployment rate rose to 5.2% for black women from 5% but fell to 4.1% from 4.6% for Hispanic women.
  • Women’s labor force participation ticked down by 0.1% to 57.6%.

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

“Let’s not celebrate the 272k headline number when, paired with troubling other labor data this week, we see a concerning picture about the labor market. The government overestimated the jobs data last year by 60,000 jobs each month, meaning that job growth has been much weaker over the past year and beyond. Open positions are at their lowest level since 2021 and workers are quitting at lower rates than even before the pandemic.

“Three concerning trends are emerging: women and workers have fewer employment options,  shrinking real pay, and longer wait times in the unemployment line. Gone are the Great Resignation days when women jumped from job to job stacking up pay increases along the way. On top of that, it takes workers weeks longer to find a new job signaling some stagnation in the labor market. 

“When we add in the pressure that elevated inflation and high interest rates place on household budgets, we see that Americans, particularly women more than men, are taking on second and third jobs or side gigs. 

“Now is not the time to regulate independent contracting out of existence as the Biden administration is bent on doing. Nor should Washington impose costly regulations on small businesses, which employ most workers. The consequence will be to push more women onto the employment line or out of the workforce.”  

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.