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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

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 26, 2021 - Technology

Techies take out full-page NYT ad to propose "Marshall Plan for Moms"

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani is leading a group of executives and celebrities calling on the Biden administration to help working moms who have borne an outsized share of the pandemic-related burden.

What's happening: Organizers note that women are leaving the workforce in large numbers. They're using a full-page ad in today's New York Times to propose a "Marshall Plan for Moms" that would see President Biden unleash federal dollars and policies to support working mothers.

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.

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