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Older Women Workers' Jobs Were Disrupted During COVID-19

Women, work, and the road to resilience: Working women at midlife and beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread impact on midcareer and older women workers. About 40% have experienced at least one job interruption. Of those who were still unemployed, 70% were out of work for six months or more. Even if employed, these workers were concerned about the future and unemployment. Many are concerned about future job interruptions and one-quarter have seen their financial situation worsen over the course of the pandemic.  

spinner image African American Businesswoman at Work

Providing care to others can have implications for working women. Nearly three in 10 had taken care of a child or grandchild who was home during COVID-19 for remote schooling.  As a result, many women could only work certain shifts or hours rather than working full time. More than two in five women were either caring for an adult family member or friend, or a child or grandchild who was out of school.  

Age discrimination in hiring and in the workforce continue to plague midcareer and older women workers.  Nearly a third of job seekers identified age discrimination as an impediment to finding a job. 


This study was fielded in June 2021 to a probability sample of 1,612 general population women workers ages 40–65. In addition, oversamples of 562 Hispanic/Latina, 657 African American/Black, and 524 Asian women were collected. 

For more information, please contact Rebecca Perron at For media inquiries, please contact External Relations at