The Economic Perspective: “Working Women”

This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.   Today’s program looks working women.   Mike, in the last half century, women working in the paid labor force have become an important part of our economy.  But two important questions have been raised about this trend.  First, to what degree have jobs taken by women come at the expense of jobs held by men?  And second, has the rise in females participating in the paid labor force made job recoveries from recessions stronger or weaker?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. The gender composition of the labor force has changed dramatically in recent decades
  2. In 1970, over 90% of working age men were employed; 48% for women
  3. In 2016, the rates were 85% for men and 71% for women
  4. However, in addressing first question, researchers have not found women taking the jobs of men
  5. Instead, male decline due to lower employment in male dominated industries like manufacturing
  6. Regarding recession recoveries, when women initially moved into the paid labor force, they made job recoveries stronger
  7. Now, the opposite – mainly due to fact work participation of women has stopped rising
  8. I’m MW

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