HIGH INCREASE IN FEMALE UNEMPLOYMENT
Since the number of unemployed persons increased by 62 thousand and the number of employed persons increased by 18 thousand, the labor force grew by 80 thousand. As a result, the overall unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points from November to December, reaching a level of 10.3 percent.
The seasonally adjusted female unemployment rate increased by 1.3 percentage points from November to December, reaching 14.4 percent, as a result of an 80,000 decrease in employment and a 166,000 increase in the number of unemployed females. On the other hand, the male unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points to 8.2 percent, following a 98,000 increase in employment and a 105,000 decrease in the number of unemployed males. While female labor force increased by 87,000, male labor force decreased by 7,000 in December. Similar to last three months, female labor force growth in December exceeded male labor force growth. Additionally, due to the decline in female employment, the gender gap in unemployment rates reached its highest level since 2005, with a 1.8 percentage point increase, standing at 6.2 percentage points.