Men are in a broader array of career fields, the number of occupations heavily represented by workers 55 and older has more than doubled, and white workers lost share of employment in each of the 50 highest paying jobs. Those are some of the major demographic shifts in the U.S. workforce documented in a new report from CareerBuilder.
The report, “The Changing Face of U.S. Jobs,” explores how an increasingly diverse population is affecting the composition of nearly 800 occupations by gender, age and race/ethnicity.
“We need to move beyond the simplistic, antiquated notions of pink-collar, blue-collar and white-collar jobs and focus on bringing the best people, regardless of gender, into the roles required of a healthy economy,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. “Men are contributing in a wider variety of occupations than at the turn of the century, and as women continue to make up a larger share of the workforce, we must ensure they have the same access and opportunity for success in all professions.”
Here are some of the key findings of the report:
- Women make up greater share of workforce. In 2014, 49% of jobs were held by women, compared to 48% in 2001. That amounts to 4.9 million more female workers since 2001 compared to just 2.2 million additional male workers.
- Men are performing a wider variety of work. Despite gains in overall workforce participation by women, men are gaining a share of employment in 72% of all occupations. Examples include gains in female-majority occupations like pharmacists, credit analysts and physical therapists. Women gained a greater share of employment in just 21% of occupations, including male-majority occupations like labor relations specialists, landscape architects and agricultural managers.
- Occupational segregation contributes to pay gap. Jobs with a high concentration of male workers pay significantly more per hour, on average, than jobs with a high concentration of female workers–$25.49 median hourly earnings for men vs. $20.85 median hourly earnings for women.
- Women are losing share of employment in high-paying jobs. Since 2001, women lost ground in 48 out of the 50 highest paying jobs, including: surgeons, chief executives and software developers. They gained share among lawyers and political scientists.
- Job losses have come primarily in male-majority jobs. Among the occupations that lost 10,000 jobs or more since 2001, 76% were male-majority occupations. As jobs went away in these fields, male workers had to find work in a broader array of occupations.
- Occupations with largest gains are mostly female-majority. Among the occupations that gained 75,000 jobs or more, 69% were female-majority. The largest gains in the workforce for women occurred in a smaller number of sizable occupations.
- Women dominate college graduation numbers, but not in top-paying fields. While 5.6 million more women than men attained college degrees from 2004-2013, men continue to lead in programs that typically lead to higher-paying jobs, such as: computer science (83% of 2013 grads), engineering (79%), law (54%), and postgraduate business (54%).
Occupation Composition by Age
- The most dramatic demographic shift in workforce composition is age. The teenage workforce is 33% smaller than in 2001, while the age 55 and older workforce grew 40%. Jobs for young professionals (age 22-34) grew only 4%, while employment for workers age 35-54 shrunk by 1%.
- Teens lost share of total employment in 75% of occupations. Opportunities in many staples of summertime or afterschool work are significantly harder to come by for teen workers: hosts/hostesses (32% of all jobs in 2014, down from 45% in 2001), food prep/serving (14%, down from 23%), ushers/ticket takers (12%, down from 23%).
- Millennials lost share of employment in high-paying occupations. Millennials are losing share of employment in 69% of all occupations (averaging $25.85/hr.) and gaining share in 29% of occupations (averaging $19.82/hr.), including many jobs previously held by teenage workers like cashiers, fast food cooks and dishwashers.
- The aging workforce is felt in virtually all occupations. Moreover, workers 55 and older make up 25% of the workforce in 210 occupations. There were only 86 such occupations in 2014.
“The implications of the aging workforce boil down to a simple question: As workers retire, will there be enough qualified candidates to fill the vacated jobs?” said Matt Ferguson, chief executive officer of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. “When employment growth projections and replacement needs are taken into account, millions of high and middle-skill occupations will be available in the next decade. This will require workforce planners and talent acquisition executives to evaluate succession plans and candidate supply chains. With the right labor market data in hand, however, it’s a manageable task.”
Occupation Composition by Race/Ethnicity
- The U.S. population is more racially and ethnically diverse now than at the turn of the century, and so is the workforce. Hispanic/Latino and Asian workers make up a greater share of the workforce now than in 2001. Hispanics/Latinos held 13% of jobs in 2014, up from 11% in 2001, and Asians held 5% of jobs in 2014, up from 4% in 2001. White workers, meanwhile, lost share of total employment, dropping from 71% in 2001 to 69% in 2014. Black/African American workers held 12% of all jobs in 2014, unchanged from 2001.
- Hispanic/Latino workers gained in 96% of occupations. The group is highly-concentrated (25% higher representation than the group’s overall workforce share) in 144 occupations with average median earnings of $15.04/hr. Examples of occupations where Hispanic/Latino workers are gaining ground are dental assistants, loan officers and service unit operators in oil, gas and mining.
- Asian workers gained in 90% of occupations. The group is highly-concentrated in 210 occupations with average median earnings of $31.23/hr. Examples of occupations where Asian workers are gaining ground are software developers, skincare specialists and pharmacists.
- Black/African American workers gained share in 22% of all occupations and in 44% of the 50 highest paying jobs. The group is highly-concentrated in 149 occupations with average median earnings of $18.16/hr. Examples include nursing assistants and mental health counselors.
- White workers lost share in most occupations, including each of the 50 highest paying jobs, but remain the majority job holders in 95% of occupations. The group is highly-concentrated in just 35 occupations with average median earnings of $29.73/hr. Examples of occupations where Black/African American workers are gaining ground are internists, pilots and lawyers.
- College graduates are significantly more diverse than in 2004. Non-white students made up 37% of all associate, bachelor’s and post-grad completers in 2013, up from 30% in 2004.
“Like the population as a whole, the U.S. workplace is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse,” said Alex Green, general counsel of CareerBuilder. “A diverse organization is more innovative, more inclusive, and better positioned to capitalize on an ever-changing consumer marketplace. Any momentum achieved since 2001 must be sustained by increasing access to effective, affordable education so that young people, regardless of race or ethnicity, are exposed to the full spectrum of vocations and career paths.”