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Women's Bureau
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Employment Status of Women and Men in 2005

CIVILIAN NON-INSTITUTIONAL POPULATION (persons aged 16 years or older): 116,931,000 women compared with 109,151,000 men. The three largest race/ethnic groups of women in the U.S. are whites, blacks, and Hispanics.

Racial Group
1995
2005
Percent Increase
       
Total Population 198,584,000    226,082,000    13.8           
White women: 86,181,000    94,419,000    9.6           
White men: 80,733,000    90,027,000    11.5           
Black women: 12,835,000    14,635,000    14           
Black men: 10,411,000    11,882,000    14.1           
Hispanic women: 9,300,000    14,172,000    52.4           
Hispanic men: 9,329,000    14,962,000    60.4           
Asian women:
Not available
5,163,000   
---           
Asian men:
Not available
4,679,000   
---           

35% of persons aged 16 – 19 were either black, Asian, or Hispanic in 2005.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, January 1996 and 2006.

CIVILIAN LABOR FORCE—Persons working or looking for work. Total labor force was 149.3 million persons. 69,288,000 women were in labor force compared with 80,033,000 men. Women made up 46.4 percent of the total civilian labor force in 2005.

Racial Group
1995
2005
Percent Increase
       
Total Labor Force 132,304,000    149,320,000    12.9         
White women 50,804,000    55,605,000    9.4         
White men 61,146,000    66,694,000    9.1         
Black women 7,634,000    9,014,000    18.1         
Black men 7,183,000    7,998,000    11.3         
Hispanic women 4,891,000    7,839,000    60.3         
Hispanic men 7,376,000    11,985,000    62.5         
Asian women
Not available
3,002,000   
----         
Asian men
Not available
3,500,000   
----         

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, January 1996 and 2006.

LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE—the percent of persons in the labor force as compared to the number of persons in the population.

59.3 percent of all women were in the labor force in 2005.
73.3 percent of all men were in the labor force in 2005.
   
White women: 58.9.3% Black women: 61.6%
White men: 74.1% Black men: 67.3%
   
Hispanic women: 55.3% Asian women: 58.2%
Hispanic men: 80.1% Asian men: 74.8%










  • There were more Americans in the labor force in 2005 than at any other time in history—149.3 million persons (80.0 million men and 69.3 million women).
  • In 2005, 6 out of every 10 women aged 16 and over were labor force participants, and 7 out of 10 for men. In 1975, less than half (only 46.3 percent) of women were in the labor force.
  • Most women are the primary caregivers in their families and now they make up nearly half of our labor force--46 percent in 2005. In 1975, women were only 40 percent of the total labor force.
  • In 1975, only 46 percent of women age 16 and older participated in the labor force, but by 2005, their labor force participation rate had risen to 59 percent.
  • Sixty two percent (62 percent) of women age 16 and over with children under age 6 were in the labor force in March 2004 (up from 39 percent in March 1975).
  • Projections show that women will account for 51 percent of the increase in the labor force over the 2004-14 period, however, they will still only account for 47 percent of the total labor force in 2014.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, January 2006 and Monthly Labor Review, November 2005. 

EMPLOYMENT and UNEMPLOYMENT—65,757,000 women were employed, while 3,531,000 women were unemployed. 75,973,000 men were employed, while 4,059,000 were unemployed.

  • Adding to the complexity of balancing work and home responsibilities is the fact the many Americans are multiple job holders—5 percent of all employed persons.
  • Multiple job holders totaled 7.5 million in 2005—3.7 million women; 3.8 million men.
  • Within this total of multiple job holders, over half, 4.1 million (54 percent) or were in married couples; 2 million (28 percent) were single (never married); and 1.3 million (17 percent) were widowed, divorced, or separated.
  • Over the past decade (1995-2005), roughly 17 million jobs have been created. Women secured nearly half of these jobs (48.9 percent).
  • Between 1990 and 2005, total U.S. employment has grown 19%; between 1980 to 2005, total U.S. employment grew 43%.
  • Projections show that of the 10 fastest growing occupations between the 2004-14 period, women already comprise the majority in 7 of these occupations. This fact suggests that women will continue to find jobs in growth occupations.
  • Speaking of jobs, there are also more dual-income income families (both parents working) which translates into less time to handle family obligations.
  • Between 1994 and 2004, the number of dual-income families increased by 34%, from 25 to 33 million.
  • The unemployment rate for women was 5.1 percent, for men, 5.1 percent. The unemployment rate for teen women (ages 16-19) was 14.5 percent and for teen men, 18.6 percent.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, January 2006.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE--the percent of unemployed persons in the labor force as compared to the number of persons in the labor force.

White women: 4.4% Black women: 9.5%
White men: 4.4 % Black men: 10.5%
   
Hispanic women: 5.4% Asian women: 3.9%
Hispanic men: 6.9% Asian men: 4.0%
  • Most unemployment rates have remained fairly steady over the past decade or have experienced slights declines, however, Hispanic women have seen their rate cut in half—from 10.0 percent in 1995 to 5.4 percent in 2005. 

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, January 2006.  

FULL TIME/PART TIME EMPLOYMENT—Full time--working 35 hours or more per week; Part time—working less than 35 hours per week. 17% of U.S. workers in 2005 had part time jobs in 2005.

  • 49,158,000 or 74.8 percent of employed women worked full time; 16,598,000 or 25.2 percent of employed women worked part time.
  • 67,858,000 or 89.3 percent of employed men worked full time; 8,115,000 or 10.7 percent of employed men worked part time

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, January 2006.

EARNINGS--Women's median weekly earnings in 2005: $585 for full-time wage and salary workers, $722 for men.

  • Overall, women’s earnings as a percent of men’s were 81.0 percent.
  • Women's median hourly earnings: $10.31 for those paid hourly rates, $12.16 for men.

In 2004, for full-time year-round wage and salary workers, women's median annual earnings were $31,223; $40,798 for men.

OCCUPATIONS-- In 2005, for women who were full-time, wage and salary workers, the ten most prevalent occupations were:

Secretaries and administrative assistants (2,611,000)
Elementary and middle school teachers (1,801,000)
Registered nurses (1,654,000)
Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides (1,118,000)
Cashiers (1,064,000)
Customer service representatives (1,010,000)
First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers (979,000)
First-line supervisors/managers of office and administrative support (953,000)
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks (861,000)
Accountants and auditors (855,000)

Among women who were full-time wage and salary workers, these were the occupations with the ten highest median weekly earnings in 2005:

Pharmacists ($1,483)
Chief executives ($1, 413)
Lawyers ($1,354)
Computer software engineers ($1,174)
Physicians and surgeons ($1,134)
Computer and information systems managers ($1,094)
Medical and health services managers ($1,026)
Physical therapists ($1,014)
Computer programmers ($1,014)
Human resource managers ($998)
Marketing and sales managers ($990)

  • Employment in management and professional occupations grew much faster than employment in service occupations over the 1994-2004 period—43% as compared with 34%, respectively.
  • Over the 2004-2014 period, however, employment in management and professional occupations are projected to grow at the same rate as employment in service occupations—both at 19%.
  • Sixteen of the 30 fastest growing occupations between 2004 and 2014 are health related; another 6 are computer specialist occupations, 3 are environment related, and 2 are in teaching.
  • Between the 2004-14 period, employment in production occupations is projected to decline by nearly 1%; Manufacturing is expected to see a loss of more than half a million jobs.
  • Women made up 45% of public administration (government) workers.
  • Self-employed workers: 10.4 million in 1995; 10.4 million in 2005. In 2005, 3.8 million women; 6.6 million men.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, January 2006.

YEAR 2014

Labor Force

  • Women are projected to account for half (51 percent) of net growth in the labor force between 2004 and the year 2014.
  • Of the total estimated labor force increase of 14.7 million between 2004 and 2014, about 7.5 million will be women.
  • In the year 2014, women are expected to comprise 46.8% of the estimated 162.1 million persons in the labor force.

Occupations: Fastest Growth

  • Total job growth for all occupations from 2004 to 2014 is projected to be 13%.
  • The fastest growing occupations are projected to show growth between 30% to 56%.
  • 16 of the 30 fastest growing occupations are health related, 6 are computer specialist occupations, 3 are environmental related, and 2 are in teaching.
  • Health related: home health aides; medical assistants; physician assistants, physical therapist assistants; dental hygienists; dental assistants; personal and home care aides.
  • Computer related: network systems and data communications analysts; software engineers; and network and computer systems administrator.
  • Environment related: hydrologist; hazardous materials removal workers; and environmental engineers.
  • Rapid growth in health-related occupations reflects an aging population that requires more health care, a wealthier population that can afford better health care, and advances in medical technology that permit more health problems to be treated more aggressively.

Occupations: Largest Growth

  • The 30 occupations with the largest job growth will account for 8.8 million new jobs, or 47% of total job growth from 2004-2014.
  • Of these, 11 are service occupations; 4 are office and administrative support; 3 are health care support; 3 are food preparation and serving related; 3 are building and grounds cleaning and maintenance services; 3 are in teaching; and 3 are in transportation and material moving, among others.
  • Half of these 30 occupations have short-term on-the-job training as their most significant source of postsecondary education or training.
  • Many of these jobs have median weekly earnings lower than the average for all occupations--$651 in 2005.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, November 2005.