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Data: LISEP; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The true unemployment rate for women isn't going down, as official statistics suggest. In fact, it's going up — at least according to the most recent analysis of official data from LISEP, the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity.

By the numbers: The LISEP definition of "true unemployment" includes anybody who's looking for a full-time job paying a living wage, but who hasn't been able to find one. By that metric, 30.9% of American women were unemployed in November — an increase of 0.5% from the October figure.

  • The true unemployment for women is more than 5 times the official female unemployment rate of 6.1%. By contrast, the true unemployment for men is only 3 times the official male unemployment rate.

Between the lines: Women are finding jobs — but those jobs are disproportionately likely to be part-time or very low-paid. (The LISEP data sets the living wage at $20,000 per year, so you need to be making less than that to count as unemployed by their metric.)

What they're saying: "While a larger percentage of women may have some form of employment, those jobs fail to provide a living wage,” says Gene Ludwig, LISEP's founder. “If the TRU reports are any indication, the glass ceiling has been reglazed and double-paned in terms of opportunities for women in the workforce.”

The bottom line: Insofar as there has been an economic recovery from the depths of the recession earlier this year, it seems to have petered out when it comes to employment in general, and to women's employment in particular.

  • My thought bubble: Absent major government stimulus, expect the unemployment rate — both official and true — to stagnate or even start going back up again from here.

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.

Chauvin defense closing: "Does not have to prove his innocence"

Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson opened his closing argument on Monday by reminding the jury that Derek Chauvin "does not have to prove his innocence."

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades.

Merrick Garland: Domestic terror is "still with us"

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In his first major speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned the nation Monday to remain vigilant against the rising threat of domestic extremism.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the nation this year, according to U.S. intelligence. Garland has already pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups.

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