What American Women Do For Work | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

What American Women Do For Work

Forty years ago, only 1 in 3 American workers was a woman. Today, it's 1 in 2.

You know this already. But it raises interesting, subtler questions: What jobs did all those women get? And how did the gender breakdown change by industry over the past 40 years?

This graph answers those questions.

It shows how the gender breakdown changed in major sectors of the economy between 1972 and 2012.

The size of the circles shows how some sectors grew to include a larger share of the workforce, while others shrank in relative terms.

Two main themes jump out here.

The percentage of women did increase in some sectors, like government, leisure and hospitality, and financial activities (which includes real estate and insurance as well as financial services).

But the gains for women came not only from changes within sectors, but also from broader job shifts in the economy.

Women do most jobs in health and education — this was true in 1972, and it's still true today. The gender balance has barely changed. But the share of U.S. jobs in this sector has more than doubled — from 7 percent in 1972 to 15 percent today.

Manufacturing is the mirror image of health and education. Men still do most of the jobs in the sector. But the share of total U.S. jobs in manufacturing has fallen sharply — from 24 percent in 1972, to 9 percent today.

See more graphical looks at America here.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

In An Earthquake, History Fuels One Writer's Anxiety

An earthquake in Napa Valley this week brought back old fears for author Gustavo Arellano. In his anxiety he's revisiting the book A Crack in the Edge of the World.
NPR

Real Vanilla Isn't Plain. It Depends On (Dare We Say It) Terroir

There's no such thing as plain vanilla — at least if you're talking about beans from the vanilla orchid. Whether it's from Tahiti or Madagascar, vanilla can be creamy, spicy or even floral.
NPR

Legal Questions Loom As Obama Weighs Military Action In Syria

The Obama administration is considering whether to broaden its air campaign against the extremist group the Islamic State by striking targets in Syria.
NPR

An App Can Reveal When Withdrawal Tremors Are Real

You probably haven't thought about whether your phone could help diagnose alcohol withdrawal. Well, it can. An app for doctors measures tremors and may help tell if someone's faking it to get drugs.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.