Thursday, June 4, 2020
According to AARP employment data, women over the age of 55 face a dual threat to their careers and earning power amid the financial and labor market turmoil due to Covid-19. In April, approximately 20 million jobs were lost in the United States and the unemployment rate reached a staggering 14.7%.
Between March and April, the unemployment rate for women age 55 and over catapulted from 3.3% to 15.5%, the largest increase reported by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This stark data is consistent with numerous studies that have found that the stereotypes leading to ageism and sexism are exacerbated when combined in a single employee.
Why Are Older Women Impacted So Acutely?
Various factors have converged to magnify the labor-market toll on two separate sets of workers: female and older employees. It is thus an unfortunate reality that older female employees will be hit harder by the unforgiving Covid-19 employment landscape. As discussed below, this is often referred to as “sex-plus” discrimination, meaning sex discrimination plus some other protected characteristic such as age or race. . . .