This report analyzes the implications of privatization for women workers, especially those employed in low-end occupations.
This Research in Brief summarizes key findings of the IWPR report ‘Why Privatizing Government Services Would Hurt Women Workers by Annette Bernhardt and Laura Dresser (forthcoming). Using data from the 1998 Current Population Survey, Bernhardt and Dresser document job growth in the public and private sectors and examine the quality of jobs in terms of wages and benefits. Overall, this research finds that the public sector offers considerably better wages and benefits for women workers than does the private sector. For African American and Hispanic women, and for women who do not have a college education, the difference is between public and private sector employment is especially pronounced. To a large extent, higher wages and better access to health and pension coverage in the public sector can be attributed to higher rates of union coverage.