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

Edison's Talking Dolls Can Now Provide The Soundtrack To Your Nightmares

Thomas Edison built and sold about 500 dolls back in 1890. Now, new technology has made hearing their supercreepy voices possible for the first time in decades. (Thanks, technology.)
NPR

Tea Tuesdays: Butter Up That Tea, Tibetan-Style

Yak butter tea is often referred to as the national drink of Tibet. It's been consumed in the Himalayas for centuries and helped inspire the Bulletproof Coffee craze in the U.S.
WAMU 88.5

Maryland Democrats Pressure Gov. Hogan On Education Spending

The General Assembly has been adjourned for almost a month, but Democrats in Maryland are still pressuring Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to release funding for public education.
NPR

Edison's Talking Dolls Can Now Provide The Soundtrack To Your Nightmares

Thomas Edison built and sold about 500 dolls back in 1890. Now, new technology has made hearing their supercreepy voices possible for the first time in decades. (Thanks, technology.)

Leave a Comment

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