This month’s #JobsReport drops at the beginning of Black History Month – so we took a close look at how Black women are faring. And it’s pretty clear that while Black women have done a lot for the economy, the economy – and policymakers – need to do a lot more for Black women.
Black women have had higher labor force participation than other groups of women since data collection started 50 years ago. Yet while our economy depends on Black women, it also devalues their labor and their lives, as Jocelyn Frye has long made clear.
The latest data show this remains true: in January 2023 Black women’s labor force participation was 62.6%, the highest of any group of women. Yet they experienced an especially sharp decline when the pandemic hit and slow recovery since.
Black women also experience intersecting sexism and racism on the job and in the labor market – likely one reason their unemployment rate in January was much higher than white mens’ (although down from 5.5% in December 2022).
Black women’s contributions go far beyond the workplace. They are the most likely of any group of women to be breadwinners for their families, and provide countless hours of vital – but unpaid – caregiving for family and community members.
Read my full analysis of today’s #JobsDay numbers on Twitter:
Despite all this, Black women face a large wage gap and are more likely to work in low-wage jobs – outcomes of structures, like sexism and racism – that consistently undervalue their work. https://t.co/u4cDADUbih— Jessica Mason (@jessicafmason) February 3, 2023