Women in the Labor Force in 2007
Of the 120 million women age 16 years and over in the U.S., 71 million, or 59.3%, were labor force participants—working or looking for work.
Women comprised 46% of the total U.S. labor force and are projected to account for 47% of the labor force in 2016.
Women are projected to account for 49% of the increase in total labor force growth between 2006 and 2016.
A record 68 million women were employed in the U.S.--75% of employed women worked on full-time jobs, while 25% worked on a part-time basis.
The largest percentage of employed women (39%) worked in management, professional, and related occupations; 34% worked in sales and office occupations; 20% in service occupations; 6% in production, transportation, and material moving occupations; and 1% in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.
The largest percentage of employed Asian and white women (47% and 39%, respectively) worked in management, professional, and related occupations. For both black and Hispanic women, it was sales and office occupations--33%.
The unemployment rate for women was 4.5% and for men it was 4.7% in 2007. For Asian women, it was 3.4 %; white women, 4.0%; Hispanic women, 6.1%; and black women, 7.5%.
The median weekly earnings of women who were full-time wage and salary workers were $614, or 80 percent of men’s $766. When comparing the median weekly earnings of persons aged 16 to 24, young women earned 92% of what young men earned ($409 and $443, respectively).
- The ten occupations with the highest median weekly earnings among women who were full-time wage and salary workers were--
- Pharmacists, $1,603;
- Chief executives, $1,536;
- Lawyers, $1,381;
- Computer and information systems managers, $1,363;
- Computer software engineers, $1,318;
- Psychologists, $1,152
- Physical therapists, $1,096;
- Management analysts, $1083;
- Computer programmers, $1074; and
- Human resource managers, $1073
- Women accounted for 51% of all workers in the high-paying management, professional, and related occupations. They outnumbered men in such occupations as financial managers; human resource managers; education administrators; medical and health services managers; accountants and auditors; budget analysts; property, real estate, and social and community association managers; preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers; physical therapists; and registered nurses.
- Of persons aged 25 years and older, 28% of women and 30% of men had attained a bachelor’s degree or higher; 32% of women and 31% of men had completed only high school, no college.
- The higher a person’s educational attainment, the more likely they will be a labor force participant (working or looking for work) and the less likely they will be unemployed.
- For women age 25 and over with less than a high school diploma, 33% were labor force participants; high school diploma, no college, 54%; some college, but no degree, 66%; associate degree, 71%; and bachelor’s degree or higher, 73%.
- For women age 25 and over with less than a high school diploma, their unemployment rate was 8.2%; high school diploma, no college, 4.3%; some college, but no degree, 4.1%; associate degree, 3.1%; and bachelor’s degree or higher, 2.1%.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, 2007 Annual Averages and the Monthly Labor Review, November 2007.