The U.S. Economy Lost 140,000 Jobs In December. All Were Held by Women

2020 HAD to squeeze in such an awful last month, didn't it.

Unemployed woman wearing face mask holding her baby
(Image credit: damircudic / Getty Images)

2020 really HAD to kick us while we were down: New data released today finds that the U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs in December—and all of them were held by women. The research (opens in new tab), released today by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows a bleak and deteriorating picture of the state of the U.S. economy. Despite the fact that mass vaccine distribution is on the horizon, U.S. businesses cut a staggering 140,000 jobs in December. As CNN discovered, (opens in new tab) in net numbers, women lost 156,000 jobs, while men gained 16,000...meaning women accounted for every job loss in the month.

To make matters even more depressing (is that even possible? Yes), the unemployment rate remained at a flat 6.7 percent, the first time we have not seen improvement in seven months.

Women have been some of the biggest victims of the pandemic. According to a study by McKinsey, (opens in new tab) women's jobs have been twice as vulnerable compared to men's jobs during the pandemic. That's partially because many female-heavy industries, like education, were hit particularly hard.

Black women specifically have suffered most by job loss and unemployment. (opens in new tab) Not only are Black Americans more likely to suffer from COVID-related health problems and die from the diseases (opens in new tab), but many Black women are being financially impacted the hardest. An additional report finds that Black and Latina women lost jobs in December, while white women gained more jobs. (opens in new tab)

For women lucky enough to remain employed, many had to bear the brunt of child care or care for sick family members, causing additional stress and anxiety.

Megan DiTrolio is the editor of features and special projects at Marie Claire, where she oversees all career coverage and writes and edits stories on women’s issues, politics, cultural trends, and more. In addition to editing feature stories, she programs Marie Claire’s annual Power Trip conference and Marie Claire’s Getting Down To Business Instagram Live franchise.