According to reports, the unemployment rate for women has been falling faster than men. While the rate for men remains high (7.7%), women 16 years or older ticked down for the past three months, to 6.7% in September from 6.8% a month earlier. At this time last year, the rate for women was 7.5% (and 8% for women).
“It’s more than a blip,” Justin Wolfers, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, D.C., told the Wall Street Journal. “The divergence over the last couple of months is kind of surprising.”
Experts attribute the decline to the fact that fewer women are actively looking for jobs. The labor force participation rate for women over age 16 dipped to a little more than 57% last month, down from 57.3% in August–numbers rarely seen since the late 1980s.
As for African-American workers, the jobless rate showed little change, standing at almost 13% in September. The black male unemployment rate for those 20 years and older remains high (14%), compared with black women (10%).