American women participating in the nation’s labor force hit a new low at a rate of 56.9 percent in October, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Additionally, the number of women holding jobs declined by 357,000 from September to October, and the unemployment rate increased for women from 6.7 percent to 6.9 percent.
In October, according to the BLS, the labor force participation rate for women was 56.9 percent, down from 57.1 percent in September and 57.3 percent in August. As calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a person participates in the labor force if they are 16 or older, not institutionalized, and either have a job or have actively sought a job in the last four weeks.
The labor force participation rate is the percentage of people over 16 in the non-institutionalized population who either have a job or actively sought one in the last four weeks. In September, according to the BLS, the female civilian labor force was 72,705,000.
In October it dropped to 72,492,000—a decline of 213,000. Similarly, the number of women working in America dropped from 67,851,000 in September to 67,494,000 in October—a decline of 357,000.