The Washington Post, October 2021
The anemic September employment report, with only 194,000 jobs added, illustrates the extent to which the recovery stalled as coronavirus cases surged last month, but it also signals something deeper: America’s unemployed are still struggling with child-care and health issues, and they are reluctant to return to jobs they see as unsafe or undercompensated.
For months, economists predicted a surge in hiring in September as unemployment benefits expired for millions of workers andschools reopened across the country. Instead, last month marked the weakest hiring this year, and an alarming number of women had to stop working again to deal with unstable school and child-care situations.
The numbers are striking: 309,000 women over age 20 dropped out of the labor force in September, meaning they quit work or halted their job searches. In contrast, 182,000 men joined the labor force, Labor Department data showed.
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