Many occupations once dominated by men have seen a great increase in numbers of women workers since 1983, according to figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Some occupations have traditionally been dominated by either female workers or male workers. Most occupational therapists are women, for example, and most engineers are men. But these differences have lessened in numerous occupations in the past couple of decades.
In their analysis, BLS studied occupations held 95 percent by males in 1983, and how the share of women in each occupation increased by 2002.
Automobile body and related repairers had the greatest shift. At one time, almost all of these repairers were menyet between 1983 and 2002, the share of women working in this occupation more than tripled, a 369 percent increase.
Other traditionally male-dominated occupations seeing increases in female workers included:
A percent increase in employment share describes a shift in the distribution of men and women in an occupation. But an increase in employment share does not indicate the actual number of jobs held by workers of a particular sex. For example, although womens participation in the automobile body and related repairer occupation increased dramatically between 1983 and 2002, relatively few female workers (5,000) were employed in the occupation in 2002. Similarly, although mens participation in dressmaking increased dramatically between 1983 and 2002, relatively few male workers (11,000) were employed in the occupation in 2002.
The BLS analysis was part of the Department of Labor's Current Population Survey.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics