It’s not a recession, it’s a “she”-session

A recent study says women were the hardest hit during the pandemic

Covid women housing

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The pandemic and the recession have not treated the sexes equally, according to a study done by Zillow.

“What we’re seeing in terms of this research,” said Cheryl Young, a senior economist at Zillow. "-is that women have been hit the hardest and they are the most vulnerable right now.

There are a variety of reasons for the split between the sexes.

First of all, women are frequently employed in the service industry, specifically hospitality, which is experiencing a 40% unemployment rate right now.

Also, women generally take care of the children, which means going back to work requires child care services.

Those services are nearly impossible to find right now and if they are found, they’re expensive.

“I think that’s a situation where you have to make a decision between, you know, work and provide for your family, or provide child care,” Young said. “Right now there are not a lot of outside options.”

According to the study, 80% of those who left the work force in September, for whatever reason, were women.

Many of those are single mothers who have little choice but to stay home with children.

But that opens up another quandry - how to pay rent?

Nearly half of those single mothers are renters and many pay from 30% to 50% of their income monthly for rent.

During the pandemic, for many, rents are not being collected but they are still owed and are adding up month by month.

“They may not have been paying rent, or their full rent, so when that comes due, they will have a large bill to pay,” said Young.

That creates another issue. If they can’t pay, they face eviction.

Many of them are protected with an eviction moratorium but the moratoriums expire soon leaving many in a lurch.

It’s why city and county officials are predicting an eviction crisis in the near future.

“It’s going to be significant but we just don’t know exactly how big it’s going to be,” Young said. “But certainly there is an eviction cliff that is looming ahead for communities like Tucson.”

It’s thought that the damage done as far as upward mobility, job prospects and earnings during this pandemic and recession will take decades to correct.

“For all intents and purposes, women seemed to be making a lof of progress on a lot of fronts,” Young said. “But now that the pandemic hit, it sort of seems to be on course to set women back.”

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