Economist Mike Walden: More Women are Working Outside the Home

This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at more women working outside the home.   Mike, the latest numbers show that the percentage of prime working age women working in jobs outside the home is up, reversing a 15 year decline.  Why the change, and what challenges do women face in deciding whether to pursue paid work?

  1. From 2000 to 2015, labor force participation among women aged 25-54 dropped from 77% to almost 73%
  2. But since 2015, the rate has risen to 75.5%
  3. Several reasons – tightening labor market, better wages, continuing educational gains by women, and realization by many companies of need to have a diverse labor force
  4. Still, big challenge for women – especially those with young children – is choice between child care and work income
  5. Not easy, especially for lower income families, as quality child care is expensive
  6. One of the toughest choices for families

And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.