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BACKGROUND FACTS
ON WOMEN WORKERS
IN THE UNITED STATES




U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
W. Willard Wirtz, Secretary
WOMEN'S BUREAU
Mary Dublin Kcyserling, Director
September 1965

September 19^5

BACKGROUND FACTS ON WOMEN WORKERS IN THE UNITED STATES

Labor Force Status and P a r t i c i p a t i o n
In June 1965^ there were 27*3 m i l l i o n women i h years of age and over i n the labor
force.
(Table l ) They represented 35 percent o f a l l workers. A t o t a l of h2.9
m i l l i o n women were not i n the labor f o r c e . The median age (half older^ h a l f younger)
of women i n the labor f o r c e i n
was
years.
Almost 2 m i l l i o n women, or 7.2 percent of a l l women workers, were seeking work
i n June 1965. By age group, the unemployment rate i n 1964 was highest among teenagers.
(Table 2) More than 1 out of 7 g i r l s i h t o 19 years o l d i n the l a b o r force
was l o o k i n g f o r a job.
Of a l l women i n the popiilation, 38.9 percent were i n the labor force i n J\me
1965. Labor f o r c e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n 196^1 was greatest among women
to
years of
age; more than h a l f of t h i s group were e i t h e r working or seeking work. (Table 2)
Among women I 8 t o 6k years o l d ,
percent were i n the labor f o r c e .
Industries and Occupations
The l a r g e s t nvmiber of women work i n service i n d u s t r i e s .
(Table 3) In March
1964, they numbered more than 10 m i l l i o n and accounted f o r more than t w o - f i f t h s of
a l l women workers. Numerically, the service i n d u s t r i e s were followed by manufacturing
(4.7 m i l l i o n women) and r e t a i l trade (4.3 m i l l i o n women). Women's employment i n the
remaining i n d u s t r i e s t o t a l e d h . J m i l l i o n .
In January I965, women were more than h a l f
of a l l employees I n the apparel and r e l a t e d products industry, telephone communicat i o n s , general merchandise stores, apparel and accessories stores, eating and d r i n k i n g
places, banking, laundries and cleaning p l a n t s , and h o s p i t a l s .
(Table 4)
Women are employed i n a great v a r i e t y of occupations, but i n 1964 the l a r g e s t
number (7.5 m i l l i o n ) had c l e r i c a l j o b s .
(Table 5) Women service workers (outside
of households) t o t a l e d 3*7 m i l l i o n ; women operatives^ 3.6 m i l l i o n . The 3 . I m i l l i o n
women p r o f e s s i o n a l and t e c h n i c a l workers represented 1 out of 8 of a l l employed women.
T h i s was about the same r a t i o as men p r o f e s s i o n a l and t e c h n i c a l workers were of a l l
employed men. Women predominated i n the teaching and nursing professions and a l s o i n
c l e r i c a l and service work.
Almost three-fouirths of a l l women workers were on f u l l - t i m e schedules i n June
1965^ as compared w i t h nine-tenths of a l l men workers.
(Table 6) The women who
worked part time d i d so p r i m a r i l y f o r personal reasons.
Work Experience
Almost one-half o f a l l women i n the population worked at some time during I963.
(Table 7) By m a r i t a l s t a t u s , the proportions w i t h work experience ranged from 45 percent f o r married women w i t h husband present t o 54 percent f o r s i n g l e women. Women who
worked f u l l time the year round c o n s t i t u t e d 35 percent of both s i n g l e and married
women (h\isband present) and 46 percent of those w i t h other m a r i t a l s t a t u s .




M a r i t a l and Family Statxis
Married women (husband present) accounted f o r 57 percent o f a l l women workers
i n March 196h; s i n g l e women, 23 percent; widows, 9 percent; and divorced and married
women (husband absent), 6 and 5 percent, r e s p e c t i v e l y .
(Table 8)
One-third of a l l mothers w i t h c h i l d r e n under l 8 years of age were i n the labor
f o r c e i n March
(Table 9) These mothers numbered 9.5 m i l l i o n . Nearly 3.6
m i l l i o n mothers w i t h c h i l d r e n under 6 years of age were working—about one-fourth of
a l l mothers w i t h c h i l d r e n of t h i s age group • Two m i l l i o n mothers w i t h c h i l d r e n under
3 years o f age were workers—about o n e - f i f t h of a l l mothers i n t h i s group •
Income
The median ( h a l f above, h a l f below) income of year-rotmd f u l l - t i m e women workers
was $3,710 i n 196^1. (Table 10) This was only t h r e e - f i f t h s of the median income
($6,283) of year-round f u l l - t i m e men workers. Only 28 percent of a l l women w i t h i n come i n the population were year-round f u l l - t i m e workers.
F o r t y percent o f the
than $2,000. Seventy-two
l e s s than $3,000. A t the
but 57 percent o f men had

women had l e s s then $1,000 income, and 59 percent had l e s s
percent of the women but only 3^ percent of the men had
upper end of the income s c a l e , only 17 percent of wcxnen
income over $4,000.

Among women employed year round f u l l time, highest incomes were received by
p r o f e s s i o n a l and t e c h n i c a l workers ($5,192), managers, o f f i c i a l s , and proprietors
($4,183), and c l e r i c a l workers ($4,117)(Table l l )
Educational Attainment
Women i n the l a b o r f o r c e i n March 1964 generally had more education than a l l
women i n the popxaation.
(Table 12) The median years of school completed by women
18 years o f age and over i n the l a b o r f o r c e was 12.3 years; f o r a l l women of that
age group i n the population, i t was 12.1 years. These l e v e l s of educational a t t a i n ment were s l i g h t l y higher than those achieved by men.
Of wcxnen i n the l a b o r f o r c e , about 1 out of 10 had l e s s than 8 years of
schooling, 6 out o f 10 had graduated from high school, and 2 out of 10 had some
c o l l e g e education.
The highest educational l e v e l s o f employed women were found among p r o f e s s i o n a l
and t e c h n i c a l workers, f o l l o w e d by c l e r i c a l workers, managers and o f f i c i a l s , and
sales workers.
(Table I 3 ) Women private-household workers and operatives had the
l e a s t schooling on the average.
College Enrollments
In the f a l l o f 1964, I . 9 m i l l i o n women were e n r o l l e d i n c o l l e g e .
(Table l 4 )
This was 1.1 m i l l i o n l e s s than the number of men. However, the proportion o f women
emong a l l c o l l e g e students rose from 35 percent i n 1957 t o 39 percent i n 1964.




- 2-

Table 1.—Women i n the Labor Force, June I965
{ik years of age and over)

Women
As percent of
t o t a l men and
wOTien

Labor f o r c e statvis
Nmber
Population l /

70,156,000

52.6

C i v i l i a n labor force

27,257,000

3^.9

25,28^,000
1,972,000

3^.3

k2,899,000

77.3

Zfaployed
Unemployed
Not i n the l a b o r force

h6.0

Total
Unemployment r a t e
(Not seasonally adjiisted)

Women

Men

5.5

7.2

h.6

1/ Excludes women i n the Armed Forces, who numbered about 30,000,
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor S t a t i s t i c s :
and Earnings, Jyily 19^5•




NOTE

Because of rounding, percentages i n
s t a t i s t i c a l tables do not n e c e s s a r i l y
add t o 100.

- 3-

Employment

Table 2.—Labor Force P a r t i c i p a t i o n and Untii?)lc3y»ent
Rates o f Wcmen, by
1965 1/ and 1964 y
(Women i k years of age and over)
Women vorkers as
percent o f vonan
population
1964
1965

Age group

Percent o f unemployed
wanen i n the
labor f o r c e
1964
1965

3T.5

37.4

6.0

6.2

114-19 years
20-24 years
25-34 years
35-44 years
45-54 years
55-64 years
65 years and over

26.2
49.3
38.3
46.0
50.7
41.3
10.2

28.2
49.4
37.2
45.0
51.4
40.2
10.1

17.5
7.8
6.0
4.7
3.3
3.2
3.1

15.0
8.6
6.3
5.0
3.9
3.5
3.4

18-64 years

45.0

44.7

A l l vonen vorkers

—

2 j Average f o r f i r s t 6 months.
^ 12-inonth average.
Source: U.S. Depaartment o f Labor, Bureau of Labor S t a t i s t i c s :
Employment and ]SamingSj Janviary I965 t o J u l y 19^5.




-

k

-

—

Table 3*—Major Industry Groups o f Hnployed Women, March 1964
(Vanen i k years of age and over)
Bnployed vocien
Percent
Number
distribution

Ind\istry group

23,786.000

Services
P r o f e s s i o n a l and r e l a t e d
Personal
Business
Entertainment and r e c r e a t i o n
Manufacturing
R e t a i l trade
Finance, insurance, r e a l estate
P u b l i c administration
Transportation, communications
Agriculture
Wholesale trade
Cons t n i c t ion
Mining

100.0

10,128,000
5,700,000
3,839,000
1+26,000
163,000
4,667,000
4,327,000
1,551,000
1,048,000
753,000
597,000
473,000
217,000
25,000

Total

42.6
24.0
16.1
1.8
0.7
19.6
18.2
6.5
4.4
3.2
2.5
2.0
0.9
0.1

Source: U.S. Department o f Coinmerce, Bureau o f the Census:
P o p i a a t i o n Report P-60, No.




- 5-

Current

Table

Indus t r i e s Enploying 250,000 or More Women,
Januaiy I965
(Women I h years o f age and over)

Women
Indixstry
Number
Manufacturing
E l e c t r i c a l equipment and supplies
Food and kindred products
T e x t i l e m i l l products
Apparel and r e l a t e d products
Men's and boys* furnishings
Women's, misses', and j u n i o r s '
outerwear
P r i n t i n g , p u b l i s h i n g , and a l l i e d i n d u s t r i e s
Transportation and p u b l i c u t i l i t i e s
Communication
Telephone camm\uiication
Wholesale and r e t a i l trade
Wholesale trade
R e t a i l trade
General merchandise stores
Department stores
Food stores
Grocery, meat, and vegetable stores
Apparel and accessories stores
E a t i n g and d r i n k i n g places
Other r e t a i l trade
Finance, Insurance, and r e a l estate
Banking
Insurance c a r r i e r s
Service and miscellaneous
Hotels and l o d g i n g places
H o t e l s , t o u r i s t courts, and motels
Personal services
Laundries, cleaning and dyeing p l a n t s
Medical services
Hospitals

k,5^5,000
600,400
380,600
39^^700
1,039,200
291,100
325,900
276,600
1*22,600
391,200
4,603,000
708,000
3^895,000
1,233,1^00
766^ 500
^77,000
379^100
^13,500
989,300
666,200
1,466,000
461,700
1^28,700




26
38
23
kh

79
85

82
29

55
37
22
69
69
33
30
65
56
22
50
60
48

256,500

hi

358,500

67

1,117,700

81

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor S t a t i s t i c s :
and Earnings^ May I965.

- 6 -

As percent
of t o t a l
i n industry

Enplpyment

Table 5 . " O c c u p a t i o n s of Baployed Women, 1964
(WoEien Ik years of age and over)

Bnplpyed vocien
Occupation
Number
Total

Percent
distribution

21^,218.000

100.0

. 3,110,000
83lf,000
1,330,000

W h i t e - c o l l a r workers
P r o f e s s i o n a l , t e c h n i c a l workers
M e d i c a l , other h e a l t h workers
Teachers (except c o l l e g e )
Other p r o f e s s i o n a l , t e c h n i c a l
workers
Managers, o f f i c i a l s , proprietors
S a l a r i e d workers
Self-employed workers
( r e t a i l trade)
Self-employed workers
(except r e t a i l trade)
C l e r i c a l workers
Stenographers, t y p i s t s .
secretaries
Other c l e r i c a l workers
Sales workers

12.8

As percent
of t o t a l
enjoyed

5.5

36.1^
59.U
70.8

1,109,000
637,000

2.6

18.0
14.9
14.8

307,000

1.3

20.8

165,000
7,1^53,000

0.7
30.8

9.8
69.9

2,651,000
1^,802,000
1,749,000

10.9
19.8
7.2

97.9
60.3
39.3

250,000
3,6^9,000
91,000

1.0
15.1
O.lf

2.8
26.2
2.5

2,259,000

9.3

97.3

3,729,000
1,377,000
2,307,000

15.4
5.7
9.5

53.8
72.1
55.8

132,000
689,000

0.5
2.8

5.7
32.4

9h6,000

B l u e - c o l l a r workers
Craftsmen
Operatives
Nonfarm l a b o r e r s
Service workers
Private-household workers
Service workers (except p r i v a t e household)
Waitresses, cooks, and bartenders
Other s e r v i c e workers
Farm workers
Fanners, farm managers
F a m l a b o r e r s and foremen

3.9
k.6

i j 12-month average f o r 1964.
Soiirce: U.S. Department o f Labor, Bureau of Labor S t a t i s t i c s :
Earnings, Januaiy I965.




- 7 -

Bnployment and

Table 6 . ~ F u l l - T l m e and Part-Time Job Status of Women
and Men Workers, June 1965
(Persons 14 years of age and over)

Women
at work

Job status

Men
at work

T o t a l at work: 1/
22,302,000
100.0

42,029,000
100.0

On f u l l - t i m e schedule 2/

74.6

91.2

On part-time schedule 3/

25.4

8.9

4.4

3.0

1.6
2.8

1.4
1.6

21.0

5.9

Number
Percent

For economic reasons
Usually work f u l l time
Usually work part time
For other reasons (usually work part time)

1/
2/
3/

Excludes workers i n a g r i c u l t u r a l industries•
Refers to 35 hours or more a week.
Refers to less than 35 hours a week.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor S t a t i s t i c s :
and Earnings, J u l y 1965.




-

8

-

Employment

Table 7.—Work Experience of Women In 1963, by M a r i t a l Status
(Women 14 years of age and over)

Total

32.i88.000

Nuoiber of women In population
w i t h work experience
Percent of women i n population
w i t h work experience

Single

M a r i t a l status
Married
(husband
present)

7.398,000

18,985.000

5.805.000

53.7

45.1

45.5

46.9

Other

Percent 4 i s t r i b u t l o n
T o t a l w i t h work
experience

100.0

100.0

100.0

100,0

36.9
15.2
15.9

34.9
10.5
16.4

34.9
16.3
16.8

45.8
17.5
12.5

32.0

38.2

32.1

24.2

On f u l l - t i m e jobs 1/
50-52 weeks
27-49 weeks
1-26 weeks
On part-time jobs 1}

1/
Tj

Refers to work of 35 hours or more a week,
Refers to work of l e s s than 35 hours a week.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor S t a t i s t i c s :
Force Report No. 48.




- 9 -

S p e c i a l Labor

Table 8 . — M a r i t a l Status of Women Workers, March 1964
(Women 14 years of age and over)

Women workers
Percent
distribution

As percent
of
a l l women

25,399,000

100.0

36.5

5,781,000
14,461,000
1/1,329,000
2,355,000
1,473,000

22.8
56.9
5.2
9.3
5.8

40.9
34.4
49.1
27.6
70.7

M a r i t a l status
Number

Total
Single
Married, husband present
Married, husband absent
Widowed
Divorced

1/

Includes 102,000 wives whose husbands were absent i n the Armed Forces,

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor S t a t i s t i c s :
Labor Force Report No, 50.




- 10 -

Special

Table 9.~Ijabor Fbrce Status of Mothers, March 196k
(Women
years of age and over)

Presence and age of children

l?umber of wcmen
Population
Labor force

Ever-married vonen, t o t a l

55,371.000

Mothers with children under I 8 years
With children 6-17 years only
With children under 6 years
With some under 3 years
With none under 3 years
Women without children under I8 years

19,618,000

35.'^

27,609,000

9,527,000

12,952,000
14,657,000

5,93^^,000
3,593,000

45.8
2U.5

9,366,000
5>291,000

2,01^3,000
1,550,000

21.8
29-3

27,762,000

10,091,000

36.3

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor S t a t i s t i c s :
Force Report No. 50.




percent of
population
i n labor
force

- 11 -

Special Labor

Table 10.—Licome o f Women and Men, 1964
(Persons llj- years of age and over)

Wcmen

Men

TOTAL INCOME RECIPIENTS
Nimber ( v i t h Income)
Percent of population v i t h Income
Median income

59.7

58,533,000
91.4
$4,647

Percent d i s t r i b u t i o n

100.0

Inccoie range

100.0

40.0

Under $1,000
$1,000 t o $1,999
^,000 to ^,999
$3,000 t o $3,999
$4,000 t o $4,999
$5,000 and over

13.3

14.2
10.9
8.9

7.6
9.7

9.8
46.8

28.2

59.5
$6,283

18.8
10.6

YEAR-ROUND FULL-TIME WORKERS
Percent of t o t a l income r e c i p i e n t s
Median income

$3,710

Women's income as percent of men's

59.0

Source: U.S. Department o f Commerce, Bureau of the Census:
Current P o p u l a t i o n Report P-60, No. 44.




- 12 -

Table I I , — M e d i a n Income of Employed Women and Men^ 1964
(Persons i k years of age and over)

Occupational group

Professional^ t e c h n i c a l , and
kindred workers
C l e r i c a l and kindred workers
Managers, o f f i c i a l s , p r o p r i e tors (except farm)
Craftsmen, foremen, kindred
workers
Operatives and kindred workers
Sales workers
Service workers (except
private-household)
Private-household workers

A l l employed
Women
Men

Qnployed year round
f u l l time
Women
Men

2,758
1;911
1,626
659

$7,950
5,719

$5,192
4,117

$8,655
6,225

7,463

$4,417
3,507

4,183

7,793

6,268
5,130
5,761^

3,288
2,740

6,613
5,738
6,948

4,065
(1/)

2,585
1,265

4,861
(1/)

1/ Median not shown f o r occupational groups w i t h fewer than 200^000 workers.
Soiu'ce: U^S. Department of Camnerce, Bureau of the Census:
Report P-60, No. hh.




- 13 -

Current Population

Table 12.—Years of School Completed by Women and Men
i n the Population and Labor Force, March 1964
(Persons l 8 years of age and over)
Population
Women

1/
Men

Labor force
Men
Vcmen

61,883,000

55,118,000

24,326,000

1^5,600,000

100.0
1.3

100.0
1.7

100.0
O.lf

100.0
0.7

Elementary school:
1 to
years
5 t o T yeaTB
8 yeai's

3.9
9.4
13.8

5.1
10.
lk.6

2.0
6.9
10.9

3.7
9.0
13.6

High school:
1 t o 3 years
k years

19.2
36.0

18.8
U0'.9

19.h

28.1

Number
Percent
Ho school years completed

College:
1 t o 3 years
k years
5 years or more
Median years of school ccmpleted

31.1

9.8
U.9
1.6

10.8
6.1

10.6
6.6
2.9

10.6
6.8
5.3

12.1

12.0

12.3

12.1

i j Refers t o the c i v i l i a n n o n i n s t i t u t i o n a l population.
Source: U.S. Departanent of Labor, Bureau of Labor S t a t i s t i c s :
Force Report No. 53-




-llf

.

Special Labor

Table 13,—Years of School Completed by Employed Women and Men,
by Selected Occupational Group, March 1964
(Persons 18 years of age and over)

Median years of school
completed

Occupational group

Women
A l l occupational groups

12.3

P r o f e s s i o n a l , t e c h n i c a l , kindred workers
Managers, o f f i c i a l s , p r o p r i e t o r s
(except farm)
C l e r i c a l workers
Sales workers
Craftsmen, foremen, kindred workers
Operatives and kindred workers
Service workers (except p r i v a t e household)
Private-household workers

1/

Men
12.1

16.2

16.4

12.4
12.5

12.2

12.6
12.5
12.7
11.5
10.7

11.2
8.8

1/ 10.6

11.2
10.0

Includes private-household workers.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor S t a t i s t i c s :
S p e c i a l Labor Force Report No« 53.




- 15 .

tmm

Table iJf .—Opening ( F a l l ) College Enrolments

Year

Women

Men

19Sk

1,936,106
1,738,989
1,603,600
1,339,367
1,064,993

3,051,761
2,789,527
2,603,072
2,270,640
2,003,1(24

1963
1965
i960
1957

Women as percent
of t o t a l

39
38
38
37
35

Source: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of
Education: Opening ( F a l l ) Enrollment i n Higher Education, 1964.




-

16.

Labor D.C.

(66-90)


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102