Girls may run the world as Beyoncé says, but the job market has not been sharing that sentiment. New data shows that this past December, 140,000 jobs were cut by employers and most belonged to women of color.
The new data was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The cut in jobs ended a 3-month pattern of women earning more positions than men in the U.S. Overall, women accounted for 156,000 job losses, whereas men gained 16,000 positions.
Experts said the job loss could be attributed to lack of paid sick leave, the inability to work from home, and taking care of children when schools and daycares were closed due to the pandemic.
"Those sectors are less likely to have flexibility, so when employers are inflexible or women can't come to work because of caregiving responsibilities — they have to exit the workforce," C. Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, told CNN.
Metro areas such as New York, Newark, NJ, and Los Angeles reported higher unemployment rates.
The COVID-19 pandemic also played a contributing factor to the job market in the last months of 2020, specifically to the minority population. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, African American unemployment hit an all-time high of 9.9%, with 9.3% for Latinos unemployed, compared to 6% of unemployed white employees.
Programs are in place to assist families who have suffered financially from the COVID-19 pandemic. One program is a Pandemic Housing Relief Initiative created by Beyoncé and the NAACP. The $5K grant program assists families who have been impacted by the housing crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The application to apply closes on Jan. 15.