U.S.: Female Labor Force, by year
YearFemale labor force,
in millions
  • Region: United States
  • Time period: 1990 to 2023
  • Published: Jan 2024

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Apr 2, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Steady Growth of the Female Labor Force Over 34 Years

From 1990 to 2023, the U.S. female labor force experienced a consistent growth, increasing from 56.83 million to 78.24 million. This reflects an overall growth of approximately 37.6% over the 34-year period, highlighting a significant upward trend in female participation in the labor market.

Significant Increases During Specific Periods

The data reveals notable increases in the female labor force during specific periods. For instance, from 1993 to 1994, the labor force saw an increase of 1.44 million, and from 1999 to 2000, it grew by 1.44 million as well. These periods stand out as times of significant growth in female labor participation.

Impact of the Early 2000s Economic Conditions

The early 2000s, particularly from 2000 to 2003, showed relatively stagnant growth in the female labor force, increasing from 66.30 million to 68.27 million. This period coincides with the dot-com bubble burst and subsequent economic slowdown, which may have influenced labor market dynamics for women.

Recovery and Growth Post-2008 Financial Crisis

Following the 2008 financial crisis, the female labor force demonstrated resilience and growth. From 2008, with a labor force of 71.77 million, there was a noticeable recovery and increase to 75.17 million by 2017. This period reflects the labor market's gradual recovery and the increasing role of women in the workforce.

Recent Trends Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The data indicates a slight decrease in the female labor force from 2019 to 2020, from 76.85 million to 75.54 million, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on employment. However, there has been a robust recovery and growth post-pandemic, with the female labor force reaching 78.24 million by 2023.

Comparative Analysis of Decadal Growth

Analyzing the data on a decadal basis, the growth from 1990 to 2000 saw an increase of 9.47 million in the female labor force, while the decade from 2010 to 2020 witnessed a smaller increase of 3.64 million. This comparison highlights a deceleration in the growth rate of the female labor force over the most recent decade compared to the 1990s.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the overall growth in the U.S. female labor force from 1990 to 2023?

The female labor force in the U.S. experienced a steady growth of approximately 37.6% from 1990 to 2023, increasing from 56.83 million to 78.24 million.

Terms and Definitions

The Female Labor Force refers to women who are of working age and are either employed (whether part-time or full-time) or are actively looking for employment. They constitute a significant section of the overall workforce in a nation and contribute to the total labor market and economic development.

The Labor Force, also known as the workforce, comprises all individuals of working age who are actively participating in the economy. This includes both employed individuals (full-time, part-time, temporary, or seasonal) and those who are unemployed but actively seeking work.

Working Age refers to the age range during which individuals are expected to be able and available to participate in the workforce. While the specific ages in this bracket may vary by region and legislation, it typically includes individuals from their late teens until retirement, often set at 65 years.

Employment refers to the condition of having a job or work, particularly for pay. In statistics, an employed person is someone of working age who, during a specified brief period, was either in paid employment, at work in own their business, or performing unpaid work in a family business.

Unemployment refers to the condition of being jobless, actively seeking work, and being available for work. It is an economic condition characterized by individuals who want to work and are actively trying to find jobs but are unable to secure employment.

Part-time Employment refers to a form of employment that carries fewer hours per week as compared to a full-time job. Part-time jobs may involve working one or more shifts, but less than the standard weekly hours determined by the particular country or company.

Full-time Employment refers to the condition of having a job that often involves a standardized set of hours per week, typically between 35 and 40 hours, although this can vary by country or company. Full-time employees usually receive benefits (such as health insurance, paid vacation, retirement contributions) that part-time employees do not.

The Labor Market, also known as the job market, refers to the supply and demand for labor, in which employers look for the best workers they can find based on skills and experience, and workers seek the best jobs they can get based on salary, benefits, and job satisfaction.
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