Strohm.  Riehl

Kristin Strohm, left, is the president and CEO of the Common Sense Institute. Nicole Riehl is the president and CEO of Executives Partnering to Invest in Children. 

The Denver-based Common Sense Institute updated its ongoing analysis of women in the workforce Thursday, and the picture isn't getting better.

The institute first flagged the question last month, and Thursday released a new report calling the economic recession a “she-cession” in Colorado.

The unemployment rate for Colorado women between 16 and 24 years old rose to just over 12.5% in the fourth quarter of last year, while the unemployment rate for women above the age of 25 was at 5%.

As of the end of the year, women accounted for 54.5% of the 9.65 million jobs lost over the last year. That represents nearly 869,000 more jobs than men.

In December, women across the country lost another 140,000 jobs, whereas men gained 16,000 jobs.

Read the full report by clicking here.

“A generation of progress for women in the workplace in Colorado could be reversed if we do not take immediate action to understand and ultimately solve this problem,” Kristin Strohm, the Common Sense Institute's president and CEO, said in a statement.

Strohm has pressed policymakers on the recovery needs of working women for months. Last Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris made the same case in an op-ed in the Washington Post.

“We cannot talk about economic recovery without a real plan for child care and education as these jobs in the home tend to fall on women,” Strohm said Thursday.

Colorado ranks eighth for the highest cost of early childcare, an annual average cost of $15,325 for full-time infant care. The Common Sense Institute said that represents about 21% of the $73,000 median family income in Colorado — and 61% for a minimum-wage earner. 

The analysis found that labor force participation for Colorado mothers remains 6% lower than in February last year, when it was 79%. That represents more than 20,000 fewer working moms in the state, "more than enough to fill the Pepsi Center," researchers noted.

CSI worked on the analysis with Nicole Riehl, president and CEO of Executives Partnering to Invest in Children. 

“Economic recovery starts with addressing one of the biggest challenges faced by mothers, access to affordable and quality childcare,” Riehl said in a statement. “The lack of child care has a significant and adverse impact on the earning capacity of working mothers.”

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