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Women drive job gains as U.S. labor market surges back in July

Aug. 5, 2022 Updated Fri., Aug. 5, 2022 at 7:15 p.m.

An employee works a computer desk in this undated photo. A sharp increase in female employment drove U.S. payroll gains in July.  (Bloomberg )
An employee works a computer desk in this undated photo. A sharp increase in female employment drove U.S. payroll gains in July. (Bloomberg )
By Catarina Saraiva </p><p>and Maira Paula Mijares Torres Bloomberg

A sharp increase in female employment drove U.S. payroll gains in July, according to Labor Department data released Friday.

The total number of employed women rose by 327,000 last month, accounting for more than half of the 528,000 increase in overall payrolls.

The advances were particularly strong for Latina women – the number who are working climbed past 12 million, the highest on record – and white women.

By some measures, America’s female workforce is recovering more quickly than the male equivalent after taking a bigger hit early in the pandemic.

Some 55% of women are employed, compared to 55.9% before COVID-19 arrived in early 2020.

The employment rate among men is down by 1.6 percentage points over the same period, at 65.2%, although in July the total number of employed men was higher than before the pandemic for the first time.

Back in April 2020, almost 12 million American women were thrown out of work.

Many of the jobs most affected by the pandemic – the ones that required employees to show up at workplaces, or deal with customers in-person – were disproportionately staffed by women.

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