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Women & the Economy

Job Gap Study, Phase 8

Women are 48% of the labor force in Vermont, but only 41% of the full time workforce. A much higher percentage of men work FT than women (87% vs. 67%). Of all Vermont women who work FT outside the home, more than one-third earn less than aLivable Wage (see graph below at left).

Except for the federal government, women are well represented in the public sector, which has comparatively high wages (see graph below at right). Women dominate the non-profit sector, however, which has lower wages on average. Men are much more likely to be self-employed.

Women have a lower unemployment rate than men and this has been the case for most of the 1990's. However, women's rate of "labor underutilization" may be much higher because the unemployment rate excludes those who are no longer actively seeking work or who want to work but are unable to do so for personal reasons (lack of child care, no car, caring for a sick relative, etc.)

Almost one-third (31%) of all families headed by a single woman with children under 18 are in poverty
(43% in Caledonia County).


Of all FT workers with limited education, women are much more likely to have low wage jobs than men. This may reflect occupational choices (and limitations) and differences in experience and job tenure (e.g., women returning to the official workforce after raising children). It may also reflect
discrimination.

Vermont's Glass Ceiling: For those with advanced education (except those with PhD's), men still dominate the highest income categories. For example, 38% of all men with graduate degrees earn more than $55,000 compared to only 12% for women; men with Masters are 6 times more likely to earn $100,000; and men with professional degrees are 3 times as likely to earn more than $100,000.

Women who worked FT outside the home were concentrated in a few industries and occupations. Sixty percent (60%) worked in only four industries (healthcare & social services, education, manufacturing and retail). One out of five worked in health care and social services where a quarter of the FT jobs paid less than $20,000 (88% of those held by women).

Two thirds (66%) of all FT women work in only six occupational categories (administrative support, management, sales, health care, production and education & training). One out of four (21,460) worked in administrative support where 27% of the FT jobs paid less than $20,000 (77% held by women).

source: Vermont Job Gap study Phase 8
 

 

 

 

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Background and Talking Points

Vermont Job Gap Study, Phase 8

Pay Equity and Gender

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