New Report on Gender Distribution by Industry

A report released last week by NPR breaks down the gender distribution across industries and sectors. The report compares the percentage of women in various industries from 1972 to today. The proportion of women has increased in the government sector (from 42.7% to 56.8%), leisure and hospitality (from 38.8% to 52.5%), and financial activities (from 49.4% to 58.1%). Women continue to make up the majority of the workforce in the health and education sectors. In 1972, women comprised 75.9% of the sector and today, they make up 76.7% of the industry. Currently, women comprise about 78% of elementary and secondary school teachers.

NPR says the findings are also notable because they reflect the “broader job shifts in the economy.” For example, there has been little change in the proportion of women in the manufacturing sector, but the overall share of US jobs in manufacturing has fallen dramatically since 1972. In 1972, the share of jobs in manufacturing was at 24% and today it is only 9%.

The percentage of women in the workforce has sharply increased from 1972 to today. In March 1972, men were 63.9% of the workforce and women were only 36.1%. In March 2012, the gender distribution was much more equal, with men as 50.7% of the workforce and women as 49.3%.

Media Resources: NPR 5/3/12; Feminist Daily News Wire 9/9/11

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