The first major drop off of women from the workforce after the onset of the pandemic came in September 2020, when the new school year started and many kids returned to class online. About 863,000 women dropped out of work then. The next largest drop off happened in September 2021—again at the start of a new school year—when 309,000 women left the workforce.
Neither of those events was coincidental: Moms with children under the age of 12 spent the equivalent of a second full-time job caring for kids while simultaneously working their usual jobs during the pandemic.
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