Men Not at Work: Jobs Women Are Taking Over

Professions Where Women Are Gaining Ground

The previous decade was a tough one for men in the U.S. labor market. The number of women in the workforce grew by more than two million between 2000 and 2010, according to historical data provided to MainStreet by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile the number of men employed during this period remained largely stagnant, growing by just 54,000 in 10 years. In some ways, one can trace the trend back to the early 1970s, when women started to flock to universities around the country and pursue full-time careers afterward. But according to several economists and labor experts MainStreet spoke with, several other factors have contributed as well, perhaps most notably the loss of manufacturing jobs that typically employ men. As a result, men have seen their footing slip in dozens of professions, ranging from medicine to education. MainStreet combed through the BLS data to find how the gender makeup has changed for more than a hundred jobs by comparing the percentage of men in each occupation in 2000 to the percentage as of last year. The following are the careers where men have experienced the biggest loss compared with women. Photo Credit: Getty Images


11th Biggest Change: Postal Service Mail Carriers

In the future, you might want to think twice before referring to workers in this profession as mailmen. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of men employed as mail carriers dropped by 50,000, while the number of women increased by 13,000. As a result, women, who used to account for just 30% of the profession, now make up nearly 40%, and if this trend continues, women could account for nearly half of all mail carriers by the end of this decade. Percentage of Workers Who Were Men in 2000: 69.8%Percentage Who Were Men in 2010: 62.3%   Decline in Percentage of Male Workers: 7.5 percentage points Photo Credit: Getty Images


10th Biggest Change: Medical Scientists

Many professions in the science and health care industries have seen a major change in gender distribution, driven in part by the growing number of women who pursue college education and graduate with advanced degrees. Medical scientists, who usually are required to have a Ph.D., typically work in labs or at pharmaceutical companies, according to the BLS. During the previous decade, the number of women working in this profession increased by 25,000, far outpacing the 5,000 men added to the industry. This means men are now officially in the minority among medical scientists. Percentage of Workers Who Were Men in 2000: 54% Percentage Who Were Men in 2010: 46.2% Decline in Percentage of Male Workers: 7.8 percentage points Photo Credit: Getty Images


9th Biggest Change: Public Relations Managers

Women have made up the majority of PR managers for years, but recently their lead has grown even stronger. The number of men employed in the industry remained essentially unchanged between 2000 and 2010 (growing by just 2,000 men), while the number of women shot up by 17,000. Percentage of Workers Who Were Men in 2000: 48.5% Percentage Who Were Men in 2010: 40% Decline in Percentage of Male Workers: 8.5 percentage points Photo Credit: Getty Images


8th Biggest Change: Misc. Health Technologists and Technicians

This profession includes health care practitioners who use cutting-edge technology to design treatments for medical conditions. From 2000 through last year the number of men in this profession grew by a modest 16,000, but the number of women grew by 66,000, far outpacing men and further increasing the dominance of women in this industry. Percentage of Workers Who Were Men in 2000: 38.1% Percentage Who Were Men in 2010: 29.3% Decline in Percentage of Male Workers: 8.8 percentage points Photo Credit: Getty Images


7th Biggest Change (Tie): Dispatchers

Dispatchers are responsible for scheduling and keeping logs of deliveries to and from the workplace, and unlike many of the professions on our list, this is one that generally does not require a college degree. Still, the number of women employed in this field increased by a healthy 30,000 last decade, whereas the number of men decreased by 25,000. Percentage of Workers Who Were Men in 2000: 48.6% Percentage Who Were Men in 2010: 39.2% Decline in Percentage of Male Workers: 9.4 percentage points Photo Credit: Getty Images


7th Biggest Change (Tie): Pressers, Textiles, Garment and Related Materials

Those who work in these apparel occupations are responsible for crafting clothes, fabric and other items by hand or machine, but the profession has been on the decline in recent years, shedding some 45,000 positions between 2000 and last year. Women were not immune to this downsizing, but they lost fewer jobs than men, which is why they make up a greater percentage of the industry than they did in 2000. Percentage of Workers Who Were Men in 2000: 43.3% Percentage Who Were Men in 2010: 33.9% Decline in Percentage of Male Workers: 9.4 percentage points Photo Credit: Getty Images


6th Biggest Change: Supervisors of Transportation and Material Moving Workers

The BLS data show that women remain hesitant about entering professions that require a high amount of manual labor (including construction and manufacturing), but it is becoming slightly more common for women to manage those who work in these industries, as their growth in this profession proves. Men once made up nearly 90% of these supervisors, but as of last year they held just more than three-quarters of these positions. Percentage of Workers Who Were Men in 2000: 86.7% Percentage Who Were Men in 2010: 76.8% Decline in Percentage of Male Workers: 9.9 percentage points Photo Credit: kalabird


5th Biggest Change: Writers and Authors

No matter what some snooty male authors (cough, V.S. Naipaul) may say, women can certainly write as well as or better than men, and increasingly, many women have chosen to do just that in recent years. Back in 2000, the gender breakdown of writers was close to 50-50, but as of last year, nearly two-thirds of all employed writers were women. In fact, there were 9,000 fewer men employed in this industry by the end of the decade, whereas the number of women skyrocketed by 34,000. Percentage of Workers Who Were Men in 2000: 46.8% Percentage Who Were Men in 2010: 36.7% Decline in Percentage of Male Workers: 10.1 percentage points Photo Credit: redcargurl


4th Biggest Change: Ushers, Lobby Attendants and Ticket Takers

If you’ve noticed more women working in movie theaters and concert halls around the country, you’re probably not alone. These venues have gradually shed their male workers while increasing the number of women they employ. In total, the number of men working in this profession dropped by 7,000 during this period, while the number of women increased by about 5,000. Percentage of Workers Who Were Men in 2000: 67.9% Percentage Who Were Men in 2010: 56.9% Decline in Percentage of Male Workers: 11.1 percentage points Photo Credit: David Masters


3rd Biggest Change: Other Education, Training and Library Workers

The idea that women would be drawn to work in education is nothing new, but their growth in this profession, which includes teacher assistants as well as audio-visual specialists who can help teachers with classroom presentations, is particularly striking. The profession added 9,000 men to its ranks last decade, and a whopping 54,000 women. Percentage of Workers Who Were Men in 2000: 35.3% Percentage Who Were Men in 2010: 23.7% Decline in Percentage of Male Workers: 11.6 percentage points Photo Credit: katesheets


2nd Biggest Change: Tax Preparers

If you ever thought women were worse at managing money than men, the data certainly prove otherwise. Women have come to dominate the tax preparation industry, with more than 70% of all employees in this profession being women last year, compared to just half that a decade earlier. Indeed, the industry lost 15,000 men during this period, but gained some 27,000 women. Percentage of Workers Who Were Men in 2000: 48.9% Percentage Who Were Men in 2010: 29.2% Decline in Percentage of Male Workers: 19.7 percentage points Photo Credit: maximalideal


The Biggest Change: Veterinarians

Men have lost more ground in the veterinarian profession than in any other in the U.S. labor market, according to the BLS data. In 2000, men accounted for nearly 70% of the industry, but that percentage dropped significantly throughout the decade and now men are officially in the minority. In total, the number of men employed in the industry plummeted by 10,000 during this time, while the number of women veterinarians increased by 23,000. Percentage of Workers Who Were Men in 2000: 69.5% Percentage Who Were Men in 2010: 43.8% Decline in Percentage of Male Workers: 25.7 percentage points Photo Credit: Tobyotter


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