MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The coronavirus pandemic caused a huge spike in unemployment, but women could be bearing the brunt of it. That’s because the industries hardest hit tend to employ more female workers.
Nearly 80% of the nation’s job losses have been in government, retail, education, healthcare, leisure and hospitality, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Women’s Law Center.
All told, women have lost more than 5.3 million jobs.
“Women’s participation in the workforce is at its lowest rate since 1988. So, if employers don’t act now, don’t think about flexible workplace policies, don’t check in with the current women they have in their workforce, we’re risking decades of progress being erased,” said LinkedIn News Editor at Large Caroline Fairchild.
Fairchild said women in harder hit industries should be open to the possibilities in new types of work.
“The name of the game is skills. How can you transfer your resume from just a job in an industry to the skills that you have so that you can make that pivot into industries that are booming,” she said.
When the pandemic hit, Debra Flanagan watched the travel industry screech to a halt.
“A call came in and based on what I had seen going on in the industry, I knew what the call was,” she said.
Laid off from her job as a travel consultant, Flanagan started polishing her resume. She said searching for jobs in travel consulting has been hard.
“It comes up empty quite a bit. It’s a really kind of a dead market right now,” she said.
Flanagan is redirecting her energies to building a community newsletter, unsure if she’ll return to the travel industry.
“Going back into the industry there is going to be a heck of a lot more competition,” she said.
Flanagan said the uncertainty is the hardest part.
LinkedIn said the stigma of having a work gap on your resume has disappeared because so many people have experienced layoffs during the pandemic.