What Happened to Women’s Employment in North Carolina During the Pandemic?

Thursday, March 3, 2022
Author: 
Jeff DeBellis

North Carolina’s Employed since February 2020

Source: Current Population Survey, BLS, seasonally adjusted and smoothed by the NC Department of Commerce LEAD

A common belief is that women have suffered greater employment losses through the Covid-19 pandemic than men. In North Carolina, that was certainly true at the onset of the pandemic, based on LEAD’s calculation of CPS data. In May of 2020, the number of employed North Carolina women had plummeted 17.3%, compared to a 10.1 decline among men.  However, conditions quickly rebounded for women just one month later and employment for both sexes steadily increased through December 2021.  By the end of last year, the number of employed women had increased 0.5% over the pre-pandemic level in February 2020.  Meanwhile, the number of employed men, was 0.8% lower than 22 months earlier.

US’s Employed since February 2020
Compared to North Carolina

Source: Current Population Survey, BLS, US data seasonally adjusted by BLS, NC data seasonally adjusted and smoothed by the NC Department of Commerce LEAD
 

A similar, but slightly different story, occurred nationally. The rebound in June of 2020 was not quite as great for US women as those in North Carolina. By the end of 2021, the number of employed American men was slightly closer to its pre-pandemic level than that of women – and both were lower than their counterparts in North Carolina.