This Would be Really Weird

Women now represent 49.83% of the American workforce, expected to exceed 50% by October or November

I flagged this one to pass on several days ago, but have been so focused with another writing project and working on a Citation Machine upgrade (APA 6th edition), that I’ve not been thinking about much else.  But I do want to at least make mention of this, partly because I am old enough to have known a time that this news would have been really weird.

Women are on the verge of outnumbering men in the (U.S.) workforce for the first time…

Women lost about 1.66 million jobs
Men lost about 4.75 million Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

That was the first line of a September 4 USAToday story, Women Gain as Men Lose Jobs. My more conservative, 1950s, Father Knows Best upbringing aside, there are a lot of logical reasons for this “historic reversal,” which has been coming for decades.  But the tipping of the statistical scales accelerated with the recession, as jobs where women are more frequently working are in the few sectors of the economy that are not so much in decline or are actually growing, according the the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The graph to the left is my re-make of one from the article, which paints the picture of job losses since December 2007.

Two of the sectors that have continued to be strong are dominated by women, health care and government — whereas men have dominated construction and manufacturing, both of which have been brutally affected by the recession.

Through June, men have lost 74% of the 6.4 million jobs erased since the recession began in December 2007.  Men have lost more than 3 million jobs in construction and manufacturing alone.

I have to wonder, also, if there are other factors.  As I have watched the quite small sampling of exclusively middle class millennials whom we have encountered in the neighborhood and through our children’s schools, the only ones who have entered and finished college have been girls. The boys have either not entered post-secondary ed, or are having difficulty or giving up on finishing.

As the conditions that we live, play, and earn a living in continue to change, are we going to be able to adapt?  Are we all going to be able to adapt?  Are we adapting, as educators?  Is education going to transition in a way that appropriately prepares children for an unpredictable future?  What does that transition look like?

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3 thoughts on “This Would be Really Weird”

  1. I had a sociology class that touched upon this topic once. The video mentioned how women are wanting to go to school more and men are not. Because of this some colleges are taking men with lower act/sat scores then women to make the enrollment more balanced. The video said that more and more men are doing the labor type work, i.e. construction, then women. And women are wanting to break the label that society has placed upon them at one time. As far as your question about if we are adapting as educators, I would have to say yes we are. However, I think it is a process that is slowly moving.

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