A Jobs Report animation created by the TIME'S UP Impact Lab

[WATCH] How Key Milestones In the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted Employment

Equity, Impact Lab, Jobs Report, TIME'S UP Impact Lab, Time's Up, Measure Up

By The TIME'S UP Impact Lab Team

The COVID-19 pandemic led to massive job losses, lost wages, and significant uncertainty in major industries dominated by women, often in poorly paid jobs. This animation from the TIME’S UP Impact Lab shows how rapidly jobs were lost and gained over the course of the last year — with an intentional focus on those industries in which women are overrepresented. These bubbles represent millions of women, many of whom had low-paying jobs pre-pandemic, and the uncertainty they’ve faced over how to pay rent, buy food and medicine, and afford childcare since March 2020.

Animation Legend

The bubbles represent the intersection of the following factors at key pandemic milestones:

  • The various industries in play, including those where women are overrepresented;
  • The number of jobs added or lost each month, represented by the values on the X axis (horizontal line); and
  • The average earnings of those jobs, per week, represented by the values on the Y axis (vertical line).

Breaking down the key milestones from the past year…

The COVID-19-caused recession is the first “she-cession” where industries that disproportionately employ women have been hit hardest. In particular, the leisure & hospitality sector endured huge job losses and a decrease in average hourly wages, especially in comparison to some male-dominated industries; only a small proportion of these jobs have come back.

MARCH 2020: Restaurants, bars, and hotels closed due to state and local restrictions. Millions of people in the hospitality industry lost their jobs and benefits. 

MAY 2020: Summer weather and looser restrictions led to an increase in outdoor dining and limited indoor capacities, leading to some job gains as the sector began to recover.

DECEMBER 2020: Rising infection rates led to a second wave of closures, leading to further job losses and lost wages in these sectors. 

Even before the pandemic, workers in the leisure and hospitality industry had some of the lowest weekly hourly wages, averaging to less than $19,000 a year. The closure of restaurants, bars, and hotels has deeply impacted all of us as we either work in these settings or enjoy our time visiting them.

THE BOTTOM LINE: In order to have a just and equitable recovery, we must value the work that women do by ensuring they’re compensated fairly and have economic security. It’s time for our economy to measure up to what women deserve.