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Women May Surpass Men in the Work Force

Women Poised to Dominate Work Force For First Time

The traditional American family has featured a man as the breadwinner, but as with everything these days, this traditional frame of mind is being challenged by the greater economic picture. For the first time in American history, women are in a position to outnumber men in the work force. Let that sink in for a moment, and

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Men have endured the overwhelming majority of layoffs during this recession, representing 82 percent of the total job losses. As it turns out, the traditional roles that women have assumed in nurturing jobs like health care and education are also relatively recession-proof, while male-dominated fields like manufacturing and construction have been pummeled by the economy.

It's a double-edged sword, in a sense. As Heather Boushey, a senior economist at the Center for American Progress explained, "Given how stark and concentrated the job losses are among men, and that women represented a high proportion of the labor force in the beginning of this recession, women are now bearing the burden — or the opportunity, one could say — of being breadwinners."

It is apparent the American work force is going through dynamic changes, gender-based and otherwise. What do you make of this news?

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Join The Conversation
theotherhalfofme theotherhalfofme 8 years
it certainly is not the most eligible way this comes about, but history shows that after world crises women came out stronger economically. but what i am missing is: do women now get more jobs? or only does the number of employers simply decrease? i also miss the fact that the field of employment is still gender oriented? women are now the breadwinners, but this is not neccessarly a bad thing.
ylovely ylovely 8 years
I'm a single woman raised by a single woman. I've always been the bread winner, though it would be nice to share the load with someone. I am living my life.
shydcgirl28 shydcgirl28 8 years
I agree, it is interesting. I suppose this isn't really that surprising, however, b/c in my own African-American family it's always been the case that the women were the breadwinners. I have 6 aunts and 1 uncle on my mother's side, the only one who's never held a job longer than a few years is my uncle, the women are all head of household/breadwinners.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Interesting.
valancyjane valancyjane 8 years
I wouldn't call "having more of the existing jobs" the same as "dominating the work force," nor would I call being the breadwinner an "opportunity." (I've been there and it's stressful.) But it is interesting to see that the traditionally "female" fields aren't being hit as hard as others.
soccerkim soccerkim 8 years
It's interesting, and it fits with what is happening to my friends around me. I can think of three or four men in my social circle that have been laid off recently, and no women. Also women often earn less, and some employers may cut the high earners first.
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
I can see a lot of frustrated men and stressed out women equaling unhappy families (sorry for the negativity, but I grew up in an environment like this and it is no fun).
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I'm not surprised, but sad it had to come about this way.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i'm actually not that surprised by this news. for myself and my fiance, he is currently looking for a job, and i'm the one that's working, so i suppose that we're falling right in step with the trend. it's hard out there right now, and even Obama's speech last night didn't make us feel any better about things.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
mill I'm with you.
millarci millarci 8 years
I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad to hear this. I thought I'd never see the day when women dominated the workforce, but I don't think I wanted it to happen like this.
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