The shifting economy has presented a number of challenges for Americans. With record-breaking unemployment numbers, women are facing higher rates of job loss during the COVID-19 crisis than men. In a recent article by The Hill, economists outlined the reasons why women are experiencing more job insecurity than their male counterparts. According to economists, industries dominated by women attributed to the high job loss rate.
The Hill reported, “Women represent 73 percent of employees in clothing stores, 71 percent in gift, novelty, souvenir stores, and 75 percent of retail florists. In accommodation and food services, they have a slight edge at 53 percent employment representation, and also dominate beauty salons, nail salons and personal care services that social distancing has made prohibitive.”
To put things into perspective, since the pandemic, women who work in retail account for three-quarters of jobless numbers but only make up about half of the retail industry. The Hill also reported that women working in the business and professional services industries make up for about 46% of all employees, but they lost 56% of the jobs.
Beyond the industries that women work in, issues that persist in the workplace like the broken rung have factored into job insecurity and loss.
Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute told The Hill, “I think that has to do with the occupations within the sectors. Women, she notes, are generally less likely to be well-represented in middle- and high-level positions, so they may be the first to go when the crunch hits.
“Women have been less likely to be promoted into the positions that are more likely to be protected,” she added.
In addition to experiencing job loss, men are being hired to fill the positions made available instead of women.
A recent survey conducted by Syndio also revealed that 14% of women were considering quitting their jobs because of the increased family demands while sheltering in place.
As women disproportionately face job loss, those who are responsible for families are also experiencing great loss. And leaders are concerned about the lasting economic impact can have on women and their families. Issues like hunger and poverty loom in the shadows of the pandemic.