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Black women made up 53 percent of the Black labor force in 2018

February 26, 2019

Since the 1970s, women have made up an increasing share of the Black or African American labor force. There were 10.7 million Black women in the labor force in 2018, representing 53 percent of the Black labor force. By contrast, women overall accounted for about 47 percent of the total labor force in 2018.

Total women's share of the total labor force and Black women's share of the Black labor force, 1972–2018
Year Total women as a share of the total labor force Black women as a share of the Black labor force

1972

38.5% 44.7%

1973

38.9 45.1

1974

39.4 45.2

1975

40.0 45.8

1976

40.5 46.6

1977

41.0 47.0

1978

41.7 47.9

1979

42.1 47.9

1980

42.5 48.3

1981

43.0 48.7

1982

43.3 48.8

1983

43.5 48.8

1984

43.8 49.1

1985

44.2 49.7

1986

44.5 49.6

1987

44.8 50.1

1988

45.0 50.0

1989

45.2 50.4

1990

45.2 50.5

1991

45.3 50.3

1992

45.4 50.6

1993

45.5 50.7

1994

46.0 51.1

1995

46.1 51.5

1996

46.2 52.0

1997

46.2 52.6

1998

46.3 52.8

1999

46.5 53.2

2000

46.5 53.0

2001

46.5 53.4

2002

46.5 53.0

2003

46.6 53.3

2004

46.4 53.3

2005

46.4 53.0

2006

46.3 53.1

2007

46.4 52.8

2008

46.5 52.9

2009

46.7 53.1

2010

46.7 52.9

2011

46.6 52.7

2012

46.9 53.3

2013

46.8 53.0

2014

46.8 52.8

2015

46.8 52.9

2016

46.8 52.6

2017

46.9 52.7

2018

46.9 52.5

From 1972 to around 2000, the share of Black women in the Black labor force rose from 45 percent to 53 percent. Over that same period, the percentage of women in the total labor force rose from 39 percent to 47 percent. Over the past two decades, however, the shares of Black women in the Black labor force and women in the total labor force have remained relatively steady.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more data about race and ethnicity, see our demographics page.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Black women made up 53 percent of the Black labor force in 2018 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/black-women-made-up-53-percent-of-the-black-labor-force-in-2018.htm (visited December 10, 2019).

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