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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)

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 a Senior Economist in the IMF Asia and Pacific Department.