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Women workers working less

53.2 percent of women were employed in 2011, the lowest percentage since 1983. This compares to 63.9 percent of men.

Women workers working less

The recession has impacted women’s employment rate more than men’s. 53.2 percent of women had a job in 2011. That’s the lowest level since 1983 – a time when women were much less educated.

Far more women today earn college degrees than men, a trend that began in 1982 and has continued to rise ever since. In 2010, women earned 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees.

Despite the degree deficit, 63.9 percent of men were employed in 2011.

Women have made some strides in closing the wage gap. In 2010, women earned 81 percent of what men did – up from 62 percent in 1979.

Check out our infographic for more on women in the workforce. See “What Do Others Say?” for more views, then add to the discussion below. What do you think accounts for the gap between male and female employment rates?

What do others say?

  • : McKinsey & Company: “Unlocking the full potential of women in the US economy” More

  • : Heritage Foundation: “Debate analysis: Women’s pay statistics misleading” More

  • : Brookings Institution: “Unmarried women hit particularly hard before recession started” More

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