A year ago, a rare thing happened to American women.
For three months, they held more jobs than men in the US economy — something that had only occurred one other time in history, during a short period in 2009 and early 2010.
Sure, there were still many other gender gaps: women were more likely than men to work part-time, for example, because of caregiving responsibilities at home, and even among full-time workers, they earned on average only 81 cents for every dollar of their male peers.
Nevertheless, women were making gradual gains.
The pandemic quickly changed that story. And now, it just got worse.
According to new data released Friday, employers cut 140,000 jobs in December, signaling that the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is backtracking. Digging deeper into the data also reveals a shocking gender gap: Women accounted for all the job losses, losing 156,000 jobs, while men gained 16,000.