The economy saw another big month of growth in July with women driving about 70 percent of the gains, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday.
Of the 943,000 net jobs added last month, women accounted for 649,000 of those. Men gained 294,000, according to a survey of employers conducted by the bureau every month. It’s the second straight month that the economy has added nearly a million jobs. Revised figures for June show the economy added 938,000 jobs that month — 465,000 or about half went to women.
In a separate survey of households, 28,000 women indicated in July that they had rejoined the labor force — meaning they were working or looking for work — compared to 112,000 men.
The robust growth in July helped drive down unemployment rates across the board, bringing the rate for women down from 5.5 percent to 5 percent.
But unemployment rates continue to be highest for women of color, despite significant rebounds for other groups. Black women still have an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent and Latinas have a rate of 6.7 percent, while White women’s unemployment rate is now the lowest of any group, men or women, at 4.5 percent and Asian women have a rate of 4.9 percent. (BLS does not collect data on nonbinary people, and does not have monthly data on Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders).
Once again this month, it was the return of jobs in hospitality, an industry that employs largely women, helped steer the economic expansion. Hospitality added about 40 percent of all the net jobs last month, or 380,000.
While there was also significant growth in public and private education — 261,000 added — the bureau warned that the pandemic has shifted some of the typical seasonal hiring patterns in the data, which may be contributing to the higher numbers in education.