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IWPR Publication

Undervalued and Underpaid in America: Women in Low-Wage, Female-Dominated Jobs
by Elyse Shaw, Ariane Hegewisch, Emma Williams-Baron, Barbara Gault, Ph.D. (November 2016)

This report investigates women’s experiences in large, low-wage, growing, female-dominated occupations, comparing demographic data and indicators of economic security between 1994 and 2014, and projecting growth rates to 2024. It focuses on 22 occupations fitting these criteria, and analyzes these jobs’ size and wages, racial and ethnic composition, share of parents and single parents, workers’ educational attainment, poverty rates and reliance on social assistance programs, and documents, where possible, how these indicators have changed between 1994 and 2014. The report also discusses the occupations’ projected growth between 2014 and 2024, and discusses public policy choices that could improve workers’ circumstances in the coming decades. The report is part of IWPR’s Employment and Job Quality initiative, and was funded by Oxfam America and the Ford Foundation. In collaboration with IWPR, Oxfam America produced a complementary report titled Undervalued and Underpaid in America: The Deck is Stacked against Millions of Working Women available at

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