The Status of Women, Work and Wages
Another report on the status of women in the U.S. workforce has come out with good news and bad news, (mostly bad). A March report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics titled “Women at Work” begins with the fact that in 2010 women’s wages have improved from 78 cents to 81 cents for every dollar earned by men.
Another piece of good news is that in 1970, 22% of women in the civilian labor force attended college and in 2010 that figure increased to 67% But, in today’s economy, jobs are still hard to come by and most openings are either in the healthcare or education field.
Don't start celebrating yet.
Men still out-earn women in almost every category and if you look at the people occupying America’s boardrooms, only 3% of the leadership positions at the 1000 largest U.S. corporations are held by women.
There’s more bad news. From 2008 to 2018, the women’s civilian labor force is projected to increase by 9%. This increase is primarily due to two changes - the number of women in the workforce aged 65 to 74 is expected to increase by 90% and the number of working women aged 75 and older is projected to increase by 61%. Meanwhile the number of women in the workforce who are 16-19 years old, as well as those aged 35 to 54, is expected to decrease over that time period.
Some of this shift has to do with changing demographics. But it is also due to the fact that 75% of our country’s impoverished are elderly women. Because they have shorter careers, longer life-spans and lower benefits, older women need to find additional income to supplement their meager Social Security income.
Right now, nurses and elementary and middle-school teachers make up the biggest employment areas for women. They have slightly higher wages than men, probably because they’ve been working in these positions longer and have achieved more seniority. However, the average salary in each of these fields is not great.Continued on the next page