The U.S. economy lost a net 140,000 jobs in December, the first month since April that total payrolls declined, the Labor Department said Friday. But women lost 156,000 jobs overall during the month, while men gained 16,000 jobs, according to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC).
The government’s grim monthly report, the last released under President Trump, shows the pandemic’s ongoing wreckage of the U.S. economy—and the extent to which that damage has been felt by women, especially women of color. Black and Latina women working in retail, restaurants, and other “essential” service-sector industries, often for very low pay, have been disproportionately laid off amid the pandemic’s lockdowns and business closures. Last month, as worsening coronavirus casualties led to new shutdowns, leisure and hospitality employers cut 498,000 jobs—almost 57% of which were held by women. (These losses were only somewhat offset by net job gains in other industries, including the holiday-season retail sector.)
Actually, it's even worse than that: Technically, women accounted for more than 100% of all U.S. jobs lost last month.