Reports Suggest Women's Employment rate Bouncing Back to Pre-Pandemic levels

By: GWL Team | Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Women in the workforce have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Particularly in fields like hospitality, retail, and education, where women form a larger chunk, the female workforce has been disproportionately impacted by job losses and shortened work hours caused by the pandemic.

Several women have been compelled to leave the workforce as a result of the pandemic because of their caregiving obligations, such as looking after young children or elderly relatives. Women have found it particularly difficult to balance work and caregiving duties as a result of schools and daycare facilities closing, which has caused many of them to cut back on their work hours or quit their jobs altogether.

The pandemic has also drawn attention to and widened gender disparities already in place, including as the gender wage gap and the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles.

Women Getting Back to Work

Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted the worldwide labour market, current data indicates that female workforce participation has started to return to pre-pandemic levels. The labour force participation rate for women in various nations, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, has risen back to levels recorded before the pandemic.

Government data shows that, despite women being more severely affected by Covid-19-related employment losses, female workforce participation among those aged 25 to 54 has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

According to Pew Research, 2.4 million women and 1.8 million men departed the labour market between February 2020 and February 2021, the first year the American workforce experienced reductions brought on by the epidemic.

One of the biggest drops in the post-World War II era was the labour force participation rate for all workers over that 12-month period, which fell from 63.3% to 61.3%.

Because many women took up the most of the caregiving duties when schools and daycare centres closed, they made up the majority of the decrease even though they make up less than half of the U.S. workforce. The number of employed women rapidly decreased, from 75 million in February 2020 to 63 million in May.

But according to statistics from the Federal Reserve Economic Data for January 2023, once vaccines became accessible and schools resumed operations, women's workforce participation had nearly reached the 75 million threshold once again.

In comparison to the pre-pandemic level of 77%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that 76.9% of women of main working age were employed or actively seeking employment.

Some Wins; Some Losses

However, other markets are still having trouble. The number of women with some college or less education in the labour force has decreased by 4.6 percent since the second quarter of 2019, despite the fact that there are still more college-educated women than males in the workforce. The high cost of child care is still a contributing factor.

The loosening of pandemic restrictions, vaccine rollouts, and greater labour demand as the economy keeps improving are just a few of the reasons why more women are joining the workforce.

Additionally, remote employment choices have made it possible for women who are responsible for providing care to work from home and combine their personal and professional life.

While the increase in female workforce participation is encouraging, it is important to recognise that there are still many obstacles for women to overcome in the job market. Gender disparities, such as the salary gap between men and women and the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles, still exist and must be addressed. In addition, women who lost their employment due to the epidemic would have trouble getting back into the labour.

In conclusion, the restoration of women's workforce participation to pre-pandemic levels is encouraging evidence that the economy is starting to improve and that opportunities for women are once again available.

However, there is still work to be done to ensure gender equality in the workplace and to support women who confront ongoing problems.

Despite recent advancements, a lot more needs to be done to enhance the representation of women in the workforce. Women continue to confront obstacles such gender discrimination, unconscious bias, and a lack of access to equal opportunities. They remain underrepresented in numerous fields and at higher levels of leadership.

In order to achieve gender equality, there must be more women in the workforce because doing so increases their economic independence, increases their financial security, and contributes to closing the gender pay gap.

Research demonstrates that businesses with diverse workforces perform better and are more innovative.

It is crucial to put gender equality laws into practise in order to address the need to expand the proportion of women in the workforce, including equal pay, flexible work schedules, and assistance for working moms. Additionally, it is critical to overcome unconscious prejudice in hiring and promotion procedures as well as to motivate women to pursue education and training in historically male-dominated sectors.

In general, increasing the proportion of women in the workforce is essential to building a more inclusive and equal society and to maximising the abilities and economic contributions