women labor

Inclusion and gender

Wenjie Chen: Real-Time Data Shows Widening Gender Gap


December 17, 2020

Women tend to work more in those jobs that were hardest hit by the pandemic. (iStock by Getty Images/mustafagull)

In This Episode

Tourism, hospitality, and other contact-intensive sectors with higher shares of female workers came to a dead stop shortly after Covid-19 infections started to spread. But as the labor market readjusts to the new work environment, a new study using real-time data on job listings reveals women–across all sectors, continue to drop out of the workforce at an alarming rate. While official labor market data can paint a confusing picture of the job market under the current conditions, economist Wenjie Chen says online job posting analysis from 22 countries shows the extent of the pandemic's damage, especially to women. Women have fared worse than men even in those jobs that are more conducive to working from home. Chen's article Disparities in Real Time is published in the December 2020 issue of Finance and Development Magazine.


WENJIE CHEN is Deputy Division Chief of Regional Studies in the IMF African Department.

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Bruce Edwards

International Monetary Fund

Bruce Edwards produces the IMF podcast program. He's an award-winning audio producer and journalist who's covered armed conflicts, social unrest, and natural disasters from all corners of the world. He believes economists have an important role in solving the world's problems and aspires to showcase their research in every IMF podcast.

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