September Saw One of the Biggest Drops in Women’s Jobs Since Pandemic Began

September saw one of the largest dropoffs of women from the labor force since the pandemic began. The last time women left the workforce in such large numbers was in September 2020—and that’s not a coincidence. 

The start of school during the pandemic has now coincided twice with significant job losses for women, underscoring that sectors disproportionately employing women continue to be hard hit and childcare centers are struggling.

“I Am Just Out of Energy This Year”: In a Pandemic Holiday, Women Still Do It All

Pressure and guilt, in all their forms, converge around this time every year, when the invisible work women typically do at home gets ratcheted up a few notches for the holidays. Add to that the pandemic, which has claimed more than 300,000 U.S. lives and, at its worst point, 20.8 million jobs. People are burnt out. Women most of all.

And yet, the household work—who keeps track of what groceries to buy, what appointments to make, the outfits needed for the holiday photos—continues to fall on women, as it historically has.