A record 55,807,000 women 16 years and older did not participate in the labor force in December, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This means that 55,807,000 women in the United States did not have a job and did not actively seek one in the past four weeks.
The number of women not in the labor force increased from 55,195,000 in November to 55,807,000 in December, an increase of 612,000.
The participation rate for women hit a record low for this year of 56.6 percent, which also matches the 56.6 percent seen in September 1988, a 26-year low. The labor force participation rate, as calculated by the BLS, is the percentage of this population that either has a job or actively sought one in the last four weeks.
The number of employed women decreased from 69,247,000 in November to 69,042,000 in December, a decline of 205,000. However, the number of unemployed women also declined from 4,195,000 in November to 3,878,000 in December, which means there were 317,000 less unemployed women in September.
The unemployment rate for women declined from 5.7 percent in November to 5.3 in December.