Speaking with Meghan McCain on ABC’s “The View,” failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams pivoted on the subject of Biden’s disastrous job report numbers by saying that “It is insufficient for us to simply focus on the more traditional masculine areas of the economy.”
“The U.S. economy only added 266,000 jobs last month, which was far less than the more than one million that was expected,” said McCain. “It was so bad that there were reporters on air that had to double-check the number to make sure they had actually read it correctly. Not to mention that the fact that all of the jobs went to men.”
.@staceyabrams on the latest jobs report: “It is insufficient for us to simply focus on the traditional masculine areas of the economy" pic.twitter.com/ABYZIFwJxV
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 11, 2021
“Is this a clear indication that throwing money at this problem isn’t working?” McCain asked, in reference to the Biden administration’s policy of “investment” packages.
“Actually, I would see it a different way,” Abrams responded. “We know this is a complicated challenge, a pandemic that’s affected the economy for women in devastating ways, and the notion that recovery would happen overnight is just … unfounded.”
“Instead what we’re seeing are the combination of being able to survive the pandemic and start to build toward recovery and I think that’s why the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan were both so incredibly important because it recognizes that the ‘economy of care’ which employs so many women has got to be seen as an essential part of how we rebuild our economy and that it is insufficient for us to simply focus on the more traditional masculine areas of the economy, recognizing that we have to have women in every area, but that in particular women have been hardest hit and therefore we need intentional engagement and intervention to rebuild it back more solidly,” Abrams added.
Abrams is correct in that, according to the World Economic Forum, “the economic and societal impact of government policies imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic could disproportionately impact women, setting equality efforts back by as much as a generation.”
In the World Economic Forum’s “Global Gender Gap Report,” it was reported that “Early projections from ILO suggest 5% of all employed women lost their jobs, compared with 3.9% of employed men.”
Two of Abrams’ claims were arguably misleading, however. Firstly, it is subjective to claim that women have been “hardest hit,” given that the World Economic Forum noted that “in absolute terms 64 million women and 80 million men have lost their jobs.”
Secondly, much of the impact on women due to COVID-19 related to “work challenges,” with women with children in the household the most likely to experience “increased anxiety around job security,” “stress due to changes in work routines and organization,” or “stress due to family pressures (e.g. childcare).” Such “challenges” fall into a broader category of families having to make employment decisions based on childcare, rather than solely the availability of employment.
Abrams ignored that much of the blame for these added childcare-related changes lies with the refusal of schools in Democratic-run areas to open, rather than COVID-19 itself or a lack of government intervention.