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FAST FACT: BLS Shines Light on Women’s Employment Situation

Posted by Kyla Bender-Baird

Calling all data geeks! The Bureau of Labor Statistics has made some really exciting changes to its monthly employment situation releases. We now have greater insight into women’s employment situation thanks to greater gender disaggregation of employment data. BLS has also added stats for persons with a disability, veterans, and foreign born workers.

Last month, I could only tell you women’s unemployment rate and break that down by race. This month, I have SO much more to report. For instance,

  • Women with a disability have a higher unemployment rate than women with no disability: 14.3% compared to 8.4%.
  • Foreign born women have an unemployment rate of 10.6% compared to 8.2% for native born women.
  • Single women with children have an unemployment rate of 12.3% compared to 5.8% for married women.
  • Women veterans experience higher unemployment rates than veteran men. In January 2010, the unemployment rate for women veterans was 11.2% compared to 9.4% for veteran men. Furthermore, the unemployment rate for women veterans has risen faster in the past year. From January 2009 to January 2010, veteran men’s unemployment rose from 7.5% to 9.4% while women veteran’s rate rose from 6.6% to 11.2%.
  • Women are slightly more likely to hold multiple jobs than men. 5.4% of employed women hold multiple jobs compared to 4.5% of employed men.

As a believer that research is key to social change, these changes excite me to no end! If we have a greater understanding of where women stand, we can craft solutions that truly make a difference. Without good research, we are operating in the dark.


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