US Women’s Employment Is on the Rise

US Women’s Employment Nears Level Not Seen Since February 2020

  • Latina women saw job gains; Black women’s employment dropped
  • Prime-age women’s participation rises to highest since 2000

By Jonnelle Marte

Women notched up strong employment gains in August as more found jobs or looked for work, helping to raise the overall US labor-force participation rate.

The number of women in jobs jumped by 386,000 — the most since March 2021 — to 77.4 million, Labor Department data released Friday showed. Female employment reached the highest level since February 2020.

The US economy added 315,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate rose to 3.7%, the first increase since January, as more people entered the labor force.

The labor-force participation rate for women aged 25 to 54 — known as prime working age — rose to 77.2% in August, the highest in 22 years.

For men, the prime-age participation rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 88.6%. The shift reduced the participation gap between the two groups to 11.4 percentage points, the narrowest on record.

Spread between participation rates of prime-age men, women at record low

The increase in the prime-age participation rate for women also helped to push the overall reading to 82.8%, the highest since February 2020.

Latina women saw strong gains last month, with the share of females over age 20 who were working — known as the employment to population ratio — rising to 58.3% from 57.7%. Meanwhile, the share for Black women dropped to 58.4% from 59% in July.

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