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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Layoffs among men increase women workforce

Bangalore: With downturn-related job losses affecting females less than males, women are headed toward constituting half of all U.S. employed. According to Pew Research, women's share of the workforce increased from 46.5 percent in December 2007 to 47.4 percent in December 2009.

Women accounted for only about a quarter of the 2008 decline in employment among prime-working-age individuals, while males accounted for about 75 percent of the 2008 decline in employment among prime-working-age individuals (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009).

The report examined how changes at the nexus of marriage, income and education have played out among U.S.-born men and women who are ages 30-44 - a stage of life when typical adults have completed their education, gone to work and gotten married. Americans in this age group are the first such cohort in U.S. history to include more women than men with college degrees.

In 1970, 28 percent of wives in this age range had husbands who were better educated than they were, outnumbering the 20 percent whose husbands had less education. By 2007, these patterns had reversed: 19 percent of wives had husbands with more education, versus 28 percent whose husbands had less education. In the remaining couples - about half in 1970 and 2007 - spouses have similar education levels.

Women's earnings grew 44 percent from 1970 to 2007, compared with six percent growth for men. That sharper growth has enabled women to narrow, but not close, the earnings gap with men. Median earnings of full-year female workers in 2007 were 71 percent of earnings of comparable men, compared with 52 percent in 1970.

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