COVID-19 amplified gender disparities, hurting employment most for mothers and women of color
The COVID-19 pandemic and related recession layered a sudden economic shock atop persistent employment inequities. Beginning in March 2020, lockdowns shuttered businesses, schools, and many child-care providers. Steep employment loss and slow recovery hurt certain groups more than others, and women’s employment particularly suffered. To better understand the gendered effects of the pandemic-induced economic shock, this brief’s authors asked where gender employment gaps stood before the pandemic, which women were most impacted by employment loss, and who struggled most to recover employment as lockdowns lifted through June 2020.