A First: Women Almost Outnumber Men at Work
For the first time in history, women are on the verge of outnumbering men in the workforce — thanks to long-term societal changes in women’s roles and sharp job losses for men in the recession.
Women held 49.83% of the nation’s 132 million jobs in June and they are gaining the vast majority of jobs in the few sectors of the economy that are growing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
At the current pace, they’ll outnumber men as early as next month, USA TODAY reports.
“It was a long historical slog to get to this point,” Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, told the paper.
The change reflects the growing importance of women as wage earners, but it doesn’t show full equality, Hartmann says.
On average, women work fewer hours than men, hold more part-time jobs and earn 77% of what men make, she says. Men also still dominate higher-paying executive ranks.
Women have been a growing share of the once heavily male labor force for nearly a century, recording big bumps during epochal events such as the Depression and World War II.