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CA Black Women’s Jobs Report: November 2023

By Raksha Kopparam, Senior Research Associate




The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data on California’s labor market during the month of November 2023. Below is the California Black Women’s Collective Empowerment Institute analysis of data on the employment situation of Black women workers across the state of California.





Since the end of 2022, Black women in California have been re-entering the labor force in growing numbers. In November, the Black women’s employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) rose 2 percentage points from October, while the EPOP of White, Asian American, and Latina women either fell or stagnated. In November, California added over 9,000 new non-farm jobs, which contributed to 11 consecutive months of job gains since December 2022. Most of these new jobs were in the leisure and hospitality, health services, and construction industries, which have a large share of Black women workers.



In November, Black women’s labor force participation rate rose by 1 percentage point to 60.1 percent, the highest LFPR of all races of women in California. Historically, Black women have the highest LFPR of all races of women, and one of the explained variables for this is the economic burdens of single motherhood. Approximately 65 percent of Black women with children are single mothers, either never married, divorced, separated, or widowed. Single mothers face a larger burden to meet all their household’s financial needs with just one person’s income as opposed to two. While a high labor force participation rate is a positive indicator of a strong economy, the underlying racial disparities that women face in the labor market are often ignored



While California’s unemployment rate remained stagnant at around 4.8 percent, Black women’s unemployment rate fell by .1 percentage points in November after rising to 6.6 percent in October. Economists suggest that increases in unemployment could be a result of more Black women starting to look for high-quality jobs. New job openings in sectors with a growing share of Black women workers, such as private education and health services, combined with falling interest rates over the last quarter, indicate that Black women are more confident in their job prospects and are choosing to re-enter the labor force for more skills-matched jobs

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