Women Reach a Workforce Milestone

News outlets across the United States are reporting that in 2019, college-educated women will make up a majority of the college-educated U.S. workforce.

The recently released analysis from Pew Research found that 29.5 million working women held at least a bachelor's degree in the first quarter of 2019, compared to 29.3 million men. According to the analysis, women, ages 25 and older, now account for more than half of the college-educated workforce which is an 11 percent increase since 2000.

While this is a notable milestone for women in the workforce, it’s interesting to to note that women have been a majority of college-educated adults for more than a decade, and have outnumbered men in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded since the 1981-1982 academic year.

Women in the workplace still remains a hot topic in the news, in politics and in the boardroom. Unequal wages, women dominating industries with lower salaries, maternity leave and childcare, harassment, and bias are all topics that continue to be a focus for employers and women navigating their career paths.

Some additional interesting statistics from the Census Bureau figures show that:

·       The typical worker (ages 25 and older) earned $41,900 in 2017, but a worker with at least a bachelor’s degree earned $61,300

·       The earnings bump associated with a bachelor’s degree is larger for men than women

·       The median earnings of college-educated men is $74,900, compared with $50,200 for men overall

·       The typical college-educated woman earns $51,600, versus $36,000 for women overall

·       About one-third (35 percent) of U.S. adults 25 and older are college educated, but these individuals generate 57 percent of the economy’s earnings – $4.7 trillion out of $8.4 trillion total labor market earnings in 2017

As women pass men and make up a majority of the college-educated workforce this year, the study notes it’s an important step toward growing earning power and income equality.

2019 is a milestone year for women in the workforce!