As Labor Day approaches, we’re thinking about the jobs and opportunities that do the best job of promoting women’s economic mobility and security.
Geographically, economic opportunity is unequally distributed across the United States. A disproportionate share of all private-sector jobs—one in five—are located in just four metropolitan areas: New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle.
Gender differences in paid and unpaid time at work are an important aspect of gender inequality. Women tend to spend more time on unpaid household and family care work, and men spend more time in paid work. This unequal distribution of time creates barriers to women’s advancement at work and reduces women’s economic security.
Paid adult care work jobs are expected to increase substantially in the coming years, due to both an aging population and a comparatively low risk of automation for many of these jobs.
According to Women, Automation, and the Future of Work, an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) report, technological change will affect men and women differently in a number of ways. The first study of its kind in the United States, this report estimates the risk of automation across occupations by gender and presents a comprehensive picture of what we know—and what we don’t—about how the future of work will affect women workers.
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Despite their high labor force participation, Black women have historically been concentrated in a small number of occupations with low pay and poor working conditions.
One in eleven U.S. workers work in retail jobs, close to 13 million workers in 2014-16. Occupations in the retail sector include Retail Salespersons, Cashiers, and Stock Clerks and Order Fillers, but also Advertising Agents, Telemarketers, and Models and Product Promoters.
The commonly used figure to describe the gender wage ratio—that a woman earns 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man—understates the pay inequality problem by leaving many women workers out of the picture. This report argues that a multi-year analysis provides a more comprehensive picture of the gender wage gap and presents a more accurate measure of the income women actually bring home to support themselves and their families.