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At the onset of the pandemic, females in the workforce suffered. From February to April 2020, prime-age labor force participation among women plummeted 3.5 percentage points, from 77% to 73.5%. For males, the rate fell by just 2.8 percentage points. As the pandemic’s economic impacts shifted, these participation rates both ticked back up slightly, but in 2022 female workers made a big recovery.
In January, the prime-age female labor force participation rate rose to 76.9% – a near-complete recovery to February 2020’s point. Earlier in 2022 in August, the rate overcame its pre-pandemic level. Women returned to the workforce