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Employment rate - women in the U.S. 1990-2019

Since 1990, the employment rate of women in the United States has stayed more or less steady. In 1990, the female employment rate was 54.3 percent, and in 2018, the employment rate was at 55.4 percent. However, it reached a peak in 2000 at 57.5 percent.

Women in the workforce

Women in the workforce have historically not been treated the same way as men. There are many inequalities in all aspects of work, from salaries to promotion, although worldwide, the number of women joining the workforce has been increasing. Women were originally relegated to being stay-at-home wives and mothers who were supposed to take care of the household while men worked. For a long time, women were not able to attend university, which barred them from gaining an education and a professional job. However, as society developed, women have been granted equal access to university. Despite this, the unemployment rate of women in the United States has fluctuated significantly since 1990. In 2017, Minnesota was the state with the highest percentage of women participating in the civilian labor force.

The wage gap

Today, the wage gap is still a problem for women, but has improved from years past. The wage gap is where women are paid less for doing the same job as men, despite having the same level of education and experience. One of the industries that saw the most disparity in pay between men and women in the United States was the finance and insurance industry.

Employment rate of women in the United States from 1990 to 2019

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Release date

January 2020


United States

Survey time period

1990 to 2019

Age group

16 years and older

Supplementary notes

The numbers are based on the employment-population ratio.

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Statistics on "Women in the U.S."

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