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Record numbers of women left labor force in 2020 (Dayton Daily News)

By: Lynn Hulsey Access article

Women left the workforce in record numbers in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools and child care centers.

In 2020 nearly 1.9 million fewer women were in the labor force than in 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate for women in 2020 rose to 8.3%, with 6.3 million women unemployed, in addition to nearly 58.9 million not in the workforce.

In 2019 there were nearly 57 million women not in the workforce and nearly 2.8 million unemployed. Their unemployment rate was 3.6% that year, according to the BLS data, which reports the employment status of the civilian non-institutional population aged 16 years and over.

Businesses are struggling to find workers, and the lack of affordable, quality child care has become a big issue for them because of the impact it has on their workforce, according to a Dayton Daily New investigation that published this week.

"We know that with parents of very young children, children under age 5, they are really leaving the workforce in droves," said Warren County Commissioner Shannon Jones, president and CEO of Groundwork Ohio. "(Others are) considering downshifting their career path because they have to take care of kids in this really volatile environment."


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