LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION/GENDER GAP/COVID19 – COVID-19 widens gender gap in labor force participation in some but not other advanced economies (Simeon Djankov and Eva (Yiwen) Zhang, PIIE)

Despite some progress over recent decades in reducing the barriers women in the workforce face in job advancement and wage parity, discrimination in these areas persists. In fact, the gender gap in labor force participation between men and women in the United States has worsened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID plague has inflicted disproportionate damage to sectors employing more women, such as retail stores, restaurants, and the hotel and hospitality business. An increase in family caregiving responsibilities because of school closures has also fallen on working mothers’ shoulders. Both factors have pulled women out of the labor force.