Women Now Outnumber Men in the U.S. College-educated Labor Force
There are more women aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or more than before COVID
Women have overtaken men and now account for more than half (50.7 percent) of the college-educated labor force in the United States, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. The change occurred in the fourth quarter of 2019 and remains the case today, even though the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sharp recession and an overall decline in the size of the nation’s labor force.
Today, 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.
The pandemic disproportionately impacted labor market activity for adults without a bachelor’s degree, especially among women. 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 (-1.3 percent).
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