The coronavirus has killed 107,472 men in America, and just (just!) 91,332 women (as of Oct. 3).
But the virus’ economic impacts here are being disproportionately borne by women, who made up 46% of the U.S. workforce pre-pandemic, but account for 54% of jobs lost since the recession began. In September alone, married women lost 1.2 million jobs, while single men gained 1 million jobs.
Why? It’s simple and it’s complicated. Industries and sectors with the greatest job losses tended to be low-wage and service jobs, disproportionately held by women. Meanwhile, hamstrung by closed schools and cut off from accessing outside child care, adult women with children are dropping out of the workforce or scaling back hours at drastically higher rates than working fathers, to help shoulder family responsibilities. The COVID-19 pandemic may have erased a generation’s worth of hard-won progress in closing persistent gender disparities in pay.