According to a recent report released by YWCAUSA Latina, women are overrepresented in industries with the highest job loss. Black and Asian American women are hardest hit. Many of them have entered the pandemic less and seen higher unemployment rates in the downturn, said a co-author of the report, Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto, assistant dean at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.
“They were already vulnerable and many may never get full employment again,” she said.
Losses can be steep over time.
Even a short-term break in wages can have a surprisingly large impact on retirement. According to research by the Center for American Progress, each year the loss of manpower results in losses that are significantly greater than the immediate salary over the course of a career. Losses add up over time in the form of a lack of wage growth, retirement benefits and social security benefits, as shown by a calculator developed by the center.
For example, a 35-year-old woman who makes $ 80,000 a year and leaves the workforce for five years can expect to lose $ 197,000 in retirement assets and benefits, assuming she leaves at age 67, according to the calculator Years to retire.
“My biggest concern about what will happen in the longer term as a result of this recession is that we will set families back dramatically,” said Michael Madowitz, an economist at the center who developed the calculator.
The unemployment rates for women have risen. In September alone, women dropped out of work four times as many as men, and barely half that number returned in October and November, according to research by the Center for American Progress.
For Edith Ben Ari, the breaking point came in August. She made efforts to balance her job as a school principal in Oakland, California for children with learning disabilities with the needs of her two children, ages 8 and 6. Her parents in their eighties live nearby and are in good health, but the pandemic also focused them on the possible need to turn attention in their direction at all times.