For the First Time, Women Now Make Up a Majority of the College-Educated U.S. Workforce

A new study by the Pew Research Center shows that in 2019 for the first time in U.S. history, women make up a majority of the college-educated workforce in this country. There are now 29.5 million women with a college degree in the U.S. workforce compared to 29.3 million men with a college degree.

Each year since the 1981-82 academic year, women have earned more bachelor’s degrees than men. By 2007, the number of women over the age of 25 with a college degree surpassed the number of similarly aged men with a college degree for the first time.

But due to childcare responsibilities and other factors, women are less likely to be in the workforce than men. Women make up 46.7 percent of the total workforce. In 2018, 69.9 percent of women over the age of 25 with a college degree were in the workforce, compared to 78.1 percent of college-educated. But despite the lower labor force participation rate of women, the sheer advantage in the numbers of women with college degrees compared to men now has produced a slight majority of women in today’s college-educated workforce.

College graduates typically receive a significant bump in earnings over their less educated peers. For women in 2017, college graduates had median earnings of $51.600 compared to median earnings of $36,000 for all women. Thus, the progress college-educated women are making in the workforce, will have a positive impact on the overall gender gap in pay.

Filed Under: Degree AttainmentsResearch/Study

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