As Americans get ready to celebrate Labor Day, Social Explorer takes an in depth look at different groups within the nation’s labor force. We used the American Community Survey (2007-11) and the Census (1950 and 1990) to examine the changes in the gender and age of the working population.
How many Labor Day hamburgers, hotdogs, and veggie burgers will be grilled this summer? If the size of the labor force is a guide, there will be over 150 million. Of the 150,791,388 people in today’s civilian labor force, 82,186,179 are men and 74,273,993 are women. The following maps show where these populations reside.
Map of Men in the Labor Force (2007-2011 American Community Survey)
Map of Women in the Labor Force (2007-2011 American Community Survey)
While men outnumber women in the labor force today, over the past 60 years, a large number of women have joined the workforce.
Back in 1950, 42,598,767 men and 16,472,888 women were in the labor force. As you can see from the following chart, the proportion of women in the labor force has increased substantially.
Another labor force group on the rise is seniors. As the average lifespan increases, more people are working into their later years, whether voluntarily or for financial reasons.
In just two decades, the number of seniors (those over 65 years old) in the labor force has increased from 3,776,599 in 1990 (12.8 percent of the senior population) to 6,684,899 (16.2 percent of the senior population) in recent years.
So, more and more women and seniors celebrate Labor Day with gusto.
We wish you all a fun and safe holiday weekend.
(Grill image created using photo by Rick.)