HomeLearning CenterMore Women in Workforce than Ever

More Women in Workforce than Ever

Originally Published by Alicia Wallace for CNN

The labor force participation rate for women in their prime working age hit an all-time high in June, reaching 77.8%, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday as part of the monthly jobs report.

“The [overall] prime-age employment-to-population ratio continued to rise, hitting 80.9%, the highest level since 2001; among women, it reached 75.3%, the highest on record,” Julia Pollak, chief economist for ZipRecruiter, said in a note on Friday.

“Looking forward, given that employment levels remain well below what they likely would have been absent the pandemic, future jobs reports are likely to continue showing strong job growth, partly driven by catch-up hiring in the industries hardest hit by the pandemic,” Pollak wrote.

She added: “Anyone who has been to a restaurant or airport lately knows America is still understaffed.”

June was the third consecutive month that the participation rate for women between the ages of 25 and 54 has set a record high. Women’s labor force participation has rebounded from the pandemic “she-cession” and returned to its pre-pandemic form of making progressively historic labor market gains.

In the years leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic, women’s labor force participation rates were rising faster than that of their male counterparts. That was due to several factors, including: Female-dominated industries, such as health care and caregiving, were among the fastest-growing industries; educational attainment for women rose substantially; and women also made greater inroads into traditionally male-dominated fields such as construction, agriculture, and repair and maintenance.

By February of 2020, the labor force participation rate for prime working-age women was 77% — just shy of the record 77.3% set during the dot-com era, BLS data shows.

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