Women Now Make Up a Majority of the College-Educated Workforce in the United States

A new study by the Pew Research Center finds that women now outnumber men in the college-educated workforce in the United States. Women surpassed men in the college-age workforce in the fourth quarter of 2019 and the advantage remains the case today. This edge for women persists even though the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sharp recession and an overall decline in the size of the nation’s labor force, according to the report.

The report notes that currently there are more women ages 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or more education in the labor force than before the pandemic: 31.3 million in the second quarter of 2022, compared with 29.1 million in the same quarter of 2019. The number of college-educated men ages 25 and older in the labor force is also greater than before the pandemic – 30.5 million, up from 29.1 million – though their ranks have not increased as quickly as those of women.

In contrast, the number of women with some college or less education in the labor force has declined 4.6 percent since the second quarter of 2019, compared with a smaller change among men with some college or less education, a drop of 1.3 percent.

The report notes that “this shift in the college-educated labor force – as women now comprise a majority – comes around four decades after women surpassed men in the number of Americans earning a bachelor’s degree each year.”

Filed Under: Research/Study

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