October 23, 2003 (The Editor’s Desk is updated each business day.)

Work experience rises again

In 1999, the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years old and over that worked at some point during the year increased slightly to 70.6 percent. This upward movement has been the trend for the past three decades, with the exception of recessions.

Share of the working-age population with work experience by sex, 1969 and 1999
[Chart data—TXT]

The increasing participation of women in the workforce has been the main factor behind the rising employment rate. The proportion of women who worked at some point during the year has risen 11.9 percentage points since 1969, to 64.5 percent in 1999.

In contrast, the proportion of men who worked at some time during 1999 was 77.2 percent, a decrease of 8.0 percentage points since 1969.

These data are from the March Supplement to the Current Population Survey. Learn more in "Work Experience of the Population in 1999," news release USDL 00-333.


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