Women Will Soon Outnumber Men in the Workforce, Thanks to the Bad Economy

Good news for bad reasons.

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By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

It's great that women are making headway in the work world, but the reason why they are is not so great. USA Today reports that American women are on the verge of making history and outnumbering men in the workforce. But that's due largely to the fact there are more men in industries smacked harder by the recession, such as construction and heavy industry:

The change reflects the growing importance of women as wage earners, but it doesn't show full equality, Hartmann says. On average, women work fewer hours than men, hold more part-time jobs and earn 77% of what men make, she says. Men also still dominate higher-paying executive ranks.

Women predominate in industries such as education and healthcare, which have not lost as many jobs. In fact, the comparison is rather scary. Since December of 2008, women lost a total of 1.66 million jobs, while men lost almost three times that much, at 4.75 million.