Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Female Workforce on the Move

The USA Today reports:

Women held 49.83% of the nation's 132 million jobs in June and they're gaining the vast majority of jobs in the few sectors of the economy that are growing, according to the most recent numbers available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While I can't find that data (the data I find from the BLS shows 56% of workers are male), the trend is indeed heading in that direction. The numbers of female workers as a percent of the workforce has been on the rise for 60+ years now (as far back as the data goes, but likely 70+ years starting at the beginning of WWI). The chart below shows the number of male to female workers over that 60 year time frame, from almost 2.5 per, down to just 1.1 now.

And while that trend has continued over the past 10-20 years, we have seen a relative spike in the female workforce during this downturn. The WSJ details:
Men always do more poorly in downturns, in part because they tend to work in more cyclical industries. In this downturn, they’ve been in industries that got hit especially hard: construction, manufacturing and financial services.
As the chart shows, while men do more poorly in downturns, this downturn has been especially harsh to males. The ratio of male to female workers over the past 12 months has seen the fastest decline in almost 30 years.

Source: BLS

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