Friday 17 January 2020

Female workers now hold majority of American jobs

Women have the biggest presence in education and health services, holding more than three quarters of those positions, and government services, with about 58pc (stock photo)
Women have the biggest presence in education and health services, holding more than three quarters of those positions, and government services, with about 58pc (stock photo)

Bloomberg

Women have replaced men as the majority of US job-holders, and the roles they are choosing signal a labour market shift.

Women held 50.04pc of non-farm payroll positions in December, the highest share since 2010, according to Labor Department data. The proportion has been steadily ticking up in recent years as a tight labour market pulls them in and offers higher wages. Over the past year alone, they have taken on a greater share of positions traditionally held by men.

They make up 13.8pc of mining and logging jobs, up from 12.6pc a year earlier, as well as a growing share of manufacturing work, and are climbing toward holding one third of transportation and warehousing roles.

Women have the biggest presence in education and health services, holding more than three quarters of those positions, and government services, with about 58pc.

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"It really heralds the arrival of women in the labour force," said Betsey Stevenson, a professor at the University of Michigan.

"Women are going into the types of occupations where jobs are growing more rapidly, so this trend isn't going to reverse."

The data came in a December jobs report where payrolls missed estimates and wage growth slid below 3pc on a year-over-year basis for the first time since 2018. Women's increasing role in this data has coincided with a decline for men.

The participation rate for all prime-age workers, those 25 to 54 years old, rose to a decade high in December, but that was mostly due to gains among women.

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