Local economists say more women are facing unemployment than men and have attributed part of the findings to female-dominated industries and lack of childcare.
Dr. Alan Gin, Ph.D, an economist and professor at the University of San Diego, said the disproportionate impact on women will likely widen the gender pay gap.
“A lot of the jobs lost were held by women,” said Gin. “Particularly jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry.”
This recession, unlike others, is more demanding of women since children are learning from home, Gin said.
“We have made a lot of progress and I think more men are taking on that role, but it’s still primarily the job of women,” said Gin. “I think it’s going to (affect the gender pay gap) because one thing that influences the pay gap is experience, so if women have to stay out of the workforce for a long period of time to provide childcare and education then that will hurt them in terms of earning in the future which will then widen the pay gap.”
Dr. Silvia Mah, Ph.D., an ecosystem developer and Director of the Center for Peace and Commerce at the University of San Diego, says the economic impact is definitely real, but quantifying it is near impossible at this point.
“Before COVID the gender pay gap was 81 cents to the dollar,” Mah said. “We don’t know right now what the gap is, because COVID is just about six months, we don’t know the exact numbers.”
Mah is optimistic new job structures will help preserve the progress made for women in the workforce.
“I do see an upswing in the economy,” Mah said. Gin expects it to take at least four years for the economy to steadily improve.