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How are women working Rhode Island jobs?

Posted on April 29, 2013

The state’s labor department has shown the differences between men and women, their career selections, and how they’ve selected Rhode Island jobs.

According to the labor department, US Census data show there is often a clear difference between the career choices of men and women. While women dominate the occupations in Healthcare Support, men represent a higher percentage of workers in the Construction and Extraction occupations. Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters are more likely to be male, while Secretaries and Administrative Assistants are more likely to be female. While some ‘traditional’ female occupations, such as waitresses and maids, are relatively low paying jobs, women also dominate in more high-paying occupations, such as registered nurses and teachers.

According to the 2008 American Community Survey from the US Census Bureau, females accounted for 51.8% of Rhode Island’s population, down slightly (-0.2%) from Census 2000. Nationally, females represented 50.7% of the population in 2008.

In 2008, there were 276,284 females in Rhode Island’s civilian labor force, representing 61.9% of females 16 years and older. This rate was slightly higher than the national rate of 60.0%.

Military service is still not a large draw for Rhode Island females. In 2000, 462 females were enrolled in the Armed Forces, while 1,100 were enrolled in 2008. Even though these figures are low, they are consistent with the national average of 0.2% of all working-age females in military service.

Rhode Island females aged 25 years and older had a high school graduation rate of 84.5% in 2008, higher than the Rhode Island male rate of 82.8% but lower than the national female rate of 85.6%.

While still trailing Rhode Island men, the percentage of Rhode Island women (25 years and older) that had obtained a Bachelor’s degree or higher was 28.9%, better than the US average of 27.0%.

In 2000, 7.8% of all Rhode Island households with own children under 18 were headed by women (with no husband present), higher than the US average of 7.2%.

In 2008, Rhode Island women working full-time earned 78.7% of their male counterparts. This was the 27th highest earnings ratio in the country. Nationally, women earned 79.9% of their male counterparts.

Between 1998 and 2008, Rhode Island women experienced the third largest gap closure in the US between male and female earnings. In 1998, women earned only 71.2% of a male’s earnings. This gap closed by 7.5 percentage points by 2008, with women earning 78.7% of their male counterparts.

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