Sep 6, 2023 - Economy

The gap between men and women in the workplace is at a record low

U.S. labor force participation rate, by gender
Data: FRED, BLS; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

Women are closing in on men in the workplace.

Why it matters: For decades, a far higher share of men worked than women. Now that gender gap is the narrowest it's ever been, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The big picture: Women are crushing it in the labor market right now — their return to work from the pandemic has been faster than men's.

  • The gender pay gap is also the narrowest on record.
  • A big part of this is the rise of remote and flexible work, which has enabled a record number of women with young children to enter or remain in the workforce.

What to watch: The so-called child care cliff. COVID-era funding for child care runs out this month, and many predict this could put some daycares out of business or force them to raise fees.

  • That could push some parents — particularly mothers — out of the workforce, and back home to look after kids.

The bottom line: For all the viral chatter about "lazy girls," women are working harder than ever.

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