Story at a glance

  • Payroll data confirms that employed women outnumber employed men in the U.S.
  • This has not happened since 2009-2010.
  • The majority of sectors that have expanded and added positions are female driven.

Women held more U.S. jobs than men last December, the first time this has happened in nearly a decade. This is according to the Labor Department’s December payroll as reported in The Wall Street Journal

Women surpassed men by 109,000 jobs, holding 50.04 percent of jobs last month. The last time this happened was in mid-2010. In total, the U.S. saw an addition of 145,000 jobs in December 2019.

Speaking to the Journal, Joe Brusuelas, the chief economist at audit and consulting firm RMS, stated that the “the [jobs] report strongly suggests that the labor market dynamics are tilting in the direction of women.” 

The industries that picked up the most last month were retail trade, health care, and leisure and hospitality — all fields where women tend to make up the majority. Conversely, jobs like manufacturing and mining have been stagnant if not declining, which are industries that are predominantly male. 

Except for farmworkers and self-employed, women exceeded men on the share of payrolls last month, the data found. 

The participation rate — or who is still an active member of the labor force — however, remains disproportionately in mens favor. Women older than the age of 20 have a labor force participation rate of 59.2 percent, while men have a higher rate of 71.5 percent. These figures extend to the 16 and above demographic for women as well.

Published on Jan 10, 2020