A new study shows women have the highest workforce participation rate since the 2020 pandemic.
Economists at Wells Fargo found that 83.5% of prime-aged people, between 25 and 54 years old, are either employed or actively seeking a job, the highest level since 2002.
Within that group, women have a workforce participation rate of 77.8%
The US economy has avoided a recession thanks to two forces within the enduring labor market: prime-age women, especially mothers, and remote job opportunities.
The economists identified women with young children as a new strength for the job market.
This group has long been underrepresented thanks to the challenges of finding childcare. Now, remote opportunities have increased their workforce participation.
Mothers with young children are still behind women without children under the age of 18, and their participation in the workforce grew faster.
A recent Brookings study also found that 70.4% of mothers with at least one child under five now participate in the workforce.
That is higher than the pre-pandemic peak of 69%, which held pretty steady in the 10 years leading up to the COVID-19 outbreak.
If this trajectory continues for the employment landscape, even in the face of persistent challenges like childcare and inflation, it will strengthen hopes for a soft landing in the economy.