Monday, March 19, 2012

The Richer Sex?

There is a current trend in the links that I follow that centers around women's economic and educational access. Probably sparked by a new Times article (behind a paywall) which was based on a new book. As usual, I am listing facts that I could gather:

The tipping point is a generation away, assuming women's economic power keeps rising as expected. But already, the trend is stunning enough that TIME made it the subject of its current cover.

"Almost 40% of working wives out-earn their husbands," noted Liza Mundy, author of "The Richer Sex"--both the cover story and a new book that goes by the same title--at a breakfast in New York City, hosted by TIME and Fortune.

[...] Mundy's research shows that women are out-earning men all around. In most U.S. metro areas, for instance, single childless women in their 20s have higher median incomes than their male peers. In Dallas and Atlanta, the average young woman earns $1.18 and $1.14, respectively, for every dollar earned by a male.

Why such rapid advancement? The Pill, Mundy said, helped spark the trend 50 years ago: Newly able to delay marriage and childbearing, women began focusing on their careers. America's shift to a service economy also favors college grads, who increasingly tend to be female. Today, women make up 60% of U.S. college classes and earn more masters and doctorate degrees than men.

What can stop women from out-earning men in more than 50% of U.S. households? "Nothing that I can see," Mundy, who writes for the Washington Post (WPO), told TIME Executive Editor Nancy Gibbs at the breakfast. Some industries, such as veterinary medicine, are so populated with women that few men are now entering them, she said. She calls the phenomenon "gender pollution." In 25 years, law and medicine may well be female-dominated. - Source

This one was interesting as well, it reminded me about some articles I have seen before, thought the jobless rate of women was a bit higher:

The CHART OF THE DAY shows the unemployment rates for men and women at least 16 years old, according to data compiled by the Labor Department. Last month, the jobless rate for female workers was lower by 0.1 percentage point at 8.2 percent. In January, the rates for both sexes were the same, 8.3 percent.

This year’s figures erased a gap that peaked at 2.6 points in May 2009, when a greater proportion of men were out of work. The differential was the largest since the government started tracking the numbers in 1948. [...]

Even so, women are more likely to stay in school and get the college education needed for jobs in health care and other expanding industries, according to Dutta. He highlighted this trend in a report published on March 6, during International Women’s Week.

“The problems for men are mounting,” he said. “They just don’t have the skills for today’s labor force.” - Source

A look at the future:

Women in the workforce are set to earn more than men for the first time in history, according to new research.

The next generation of female employees in the U.S. will take home more money than their male peers across all sectors of employment.

The phenomenon marks such a cultural shift in the American way of life that author and journalist Liza Mundy used it as the basis for her book, The Richer Sex.

The 2011 study, titled Women in America: Indicators Of Social And Economic Well-Being, pieced together data from a half a dozen government agencies.

It found that the greatest changes for women had been their gains in education and in the workforce - which has resulted in people marrying later.

College-educated women get married on average around the age of 30, compared with 26 for women who don't go to college.

The proportion of women who are married has dropped from 72 per cent in 1970 to 62 per cent in 2009.

However Ms Mundy's research has found that marriage rates for women in high-income brackets were on the rise as opposed to low-earners. - Source

Note to self, read that 2011 study. And finally:

From a BLS report released earlier this month, “America’s Young Adults at Age 24“:

“At age 24, a clear gender gap in educational attainment persists. While nearly 28 percent of women had received a bachelor’s degree by the October when they were age 24, only 19 percent of men had done so (see chart). Additionally, nearly the same percentage of men and women (12 and 13 percent, respectively) were enrolled in college at age 24, so it is unlikely the gap in educational attainment will close.”

In other words, for young adults at age 24 there are 148 women who have earned a bachelor’s degree (or more) for every 100 men. At age 23, there are 164 women holding a college degree for every 100 men, and at age 22 the F:M ratio for college degrees is 187:100.

[...]In 2010, a multi-partisan group of thirty-four scholars made a proposal that President Obama create a White House Council on Boys and Men, as a parallel program to the White House Council on Women and Girls. Warren Farrell, the leader of the effort, identified five different areas in which boys are in crisis—education; jobs; emotional health; physical health; and fatherlessness. In an interview with Forbes, Farrell said that “The White House Council would signal to the world that boys and men are facing problems, alert schools and parents as to the nature of these problems, and alert all the nation’s institutions to explore how attending to these problems might help our sons, daughters, families and nation.” One educational issue to be addressed by the Council would be the huge gender gaps in educational attainment for young adults illustrated by the BLS report. - Source

There is no Council yet and I doubt that that will happen anytime soon.

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