Coronavirus: recession is hitting women in the U.S and worldwide


The recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic is disastrous to America’s labor market. But this time, the situation we are experiencing is affecting women more than in any economic crisis in the past.

These losses occur mainly because the industries most affected by the pandemic, such as leisure, hospitality, education and even some areas of health, are disproportionately non-white and female. Economic downturns we experienced before have generally hit men-dominated industries more strongly. However, the current recession is different.


The coronavirus recession is increasingly disastrous to America’s labor market. In almost all aspects, the situation is worse for women than in any previous economic crisis. (Source: Financial Times)

According to a recent American jobs report, the current unemployment crisis is as bad as the one in the Great Depression. In April alone, a number of jobs as high as 20.5 million disappeared in the US, a figure never seen before.

Unemployment in the country rose to a rate of 14.7% with these layoffs. It is the highest monthly number estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) since the institution started tracking the information in 1948.

And for women, the situation is even worse.

Understand some factors about the global recession and why it is so bad for women

For women, unemployment in the recession increased to a rate of 15.5%. Meanwhile, according to the BLS, that rate has increased to 13% for men. Groups particularly affected by job losses were women of color and Hispanic women. The unemployment rate for these groups was 16.4% and 20.2%, respectively.

Before the pandemic came, for many reasons, women were already in a situation of disadvantage.

They have disproportionately low-paying jobs that cannot be done from home, such as in retail and hospitality. Another reason is that many women used to have part-time jobs or multiple jobs at the same time.

According to economists, it can take a long time for the hospitality sector to recover from the recession. This is because consumers are still not confident to visit these places, due to the public health concerns involved in crowded spaces such as restaurants and cinemas.

Also, another important concern affects the employment of women: after all, they still end up with the obligation to care for their children and families. With schools closed and activities usually planned for summer suspended, domestic work has increased and will make it even more difficult for women to return to the labor market.

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Recession fever: should Americans stay concerned about it?

The global labor market can be profoundly affected by the mass layoffs that we are witnessing in the recession.

According to specialists, it is unlikely that these jobs will return quickly when states reopen commercial activities. This is because consumers themselves are already apprehensive and in financial difficulties.

No one knows if people will feel safe to return to their favorite restaurants. All the uncertainties only reinforce the need for more support and protection for women and families. Women were making real gains, but now there is a big step backwards from the recession.


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Autor rodmaster

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