Women’s participation pattern is now more like men’s
January 09, 2004
Women’s pattern of labor force participation by age more closely resembles that of men than it did a few decades ago.
In 1970, the impact of marriage and motherhood on women’s participation rate was very evident. Participation peaked at ages 20-24, dropped at ages 25-34, and rose again to a second peak at ages 45-54. On the chart, these rates resemble the letter "M."
By 2002, the pattern of peaks and valley was no longer evident. As women added the role of worker to their more traditional family roles, their labor force participation pattern in 2002 more closely resembled the inverted "U" of men’s participation rates.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Women’s participation pattern is now more like men’s on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2004/jan/wk1/art05.htm (visited August 12, 2020).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
- Using BLS Data to Match People with Disabilities with Jobs Presents data that can help increase access and opportunity for people with disabilities in the nation’s labor market.
- How Women and Aging Affect Trends in Labor Force Growth Examines how women’s labor force participation and the aging of the U.S. population affect trends in labor force growth.
- Meal Appeal: Patterns of Expenditures on Food away from Home
Examines spending on food away from home, such as meals or snacks from restaurants, vending machines, employer cafeterias, or other venues.
- Job Flexibilities and Work Schedules in 2017–18
Examines data on job flexibilities, such as working at home, flexible schedules, and shift work.