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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Health care jobs held by women have come back much more slowly than jobs held by men, mirroring trends in the economy overall.

Why it matters: The vast majority of health care workers infected with COVID-19 have been women, and they've borne the brunt of the industry's economic woes, too.

Reproduced from an Altarum report; Chart: Axios Visuals

By the numbers: Women outnumber men in the health care workforce, but they've suffered steeper job losses because of the pandemic.

  • 79% of health care jobs held by men have returned to the workforce, compared to only 62% for women, according to a recent report from Altarum.
  • Nurses, nursing assistants and medical assistants lost their jobs in large numbers early in the pandemic, due to the freeze on elective procedures.
  • And while most of the industry added jobs in the last quarter of 2020, jobs in nursing homes and residential care facilities — which are disproportionately held by women — haven't returned.

"That’s really moving from a short-term pandemic impact to a long-term economic impact," said Corwin Rhyan, a co-author of the Altarum report.

  • "The longer that anyone is detached from the labor force and remain unemployed, the more likely that is to have long-term impacts on their future employment and their future earnings potential," he said.

Between the lines: School closures and a lack of safe child-care options have made it much harder for mothers to reenter the workforce, whether they work in health care or not.

  • "We see moms experiencing significant wage hits just for being moms and moms of color experiencing the most significant wage hits," said Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director at MomsRising.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations were "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.

Updated 5 hours ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand.

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