According to reports, the unemployment rate for women has been falling faster than men. While the rate for men remains high (7.7%),Â 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,â€ Justin Wolfers, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, D.C., told the Wall Street Journal. “The divergence overÂ theÂ lastÂ coupleÂ of months is kind of surprising.â€
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%).