Multicultural News

Women see major job losses in December, told to seek traditional men’s jobs

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Women came into the new year with a drop in an already-struggling workforce; new data shows women lost jobs drastically in December.

Hospitality, education and retail jobs have had large cuts since the pandemic started. Although Black women and Hispanic women saw the highest job losses, women of all backgrounds have been hit hard.

Since many have been forced out of work some organizations are urging women to consider jobs traditionally dominated by men.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows women lost more than 140,000 jobs in December whereas men — although still struggling — gained 16,000.

“We surveyed our clientele early on when the pandemic first hit so that we knew how to pivot,” said Shayla Pinner with Dress for Success, a nonprofit that support job-seeking women. “And 90% of those that were surveyed did say that they’ve been impacted someway by the pandemic.”

Many agencies around the state have changed their operations to better meet the need of job seekers in a pandemic. Dress for Success is one of them. It went from largely in-person services to online and even curbside.

“A lot of the data that we are seeing is that women have disproportionately been impacted by the pandemic because a lot of them hold positions in industries that are largely dominated by women so education retail social services,” Pinner said.

In December, Latinas had just over a 9% unemployment rate. Black women saw 8%, and white women had a near 6% unemployment rate.

The solution isn’t clear for getting them back on track, but some say women applying for traditionally male-dominated jobs such as air-conditioning repair, landscaping, construction and welding may help.

“I think societal norms may play into why women don’t go into those jobs and seek those old. But those are some of the positions that really haven’t been touched by the pandemic too much,” Pinner said.