Median Weekly Earnings of Selected Occupations andPercent of Men and Women in those Occupations, 1993
minorities. A major study of eco-nomic and population trendsduring the nineties concluded that the 1990s would be character-ized by the following:
Occupation Weekly earningsPercent of total workforce inthe occupation who are:Men Women
First, most new workers entering the labor force during the 1990s will not be white males, but women and minorities.
($) (%) (%)
Secretaries 386 1 99Receptionists 316 2 98Kindergarten teachers 353 3 97 Typists 366 6 94 Teacher's aides 270 7 93Bank tellers 292 9 91Bookkeepers 375 10 90House cleaners and servants 205 11 89Sewing machine operators 226 14 86 Waiters and waitresses 230 26 74Social Workers 511 33 67Computer operators 437 39 61School administrators 778 44 56 Accountants 612 49 51Management analysts 775 53 47Operations analysts 793 60 40Computer systems analysts 821 69 31Marketing managers 851 70 30Doctors 1,019 72 28Industrial engineers 861 84 16Chemical engineers 996 91 9 Aerospace engineers 1,008 92 8 Airplane pilots 1,086 97 3
Although a generation ago white malesheld the largest share of the job market,between 1985 and the year 2000 white males will comprise only 15 percent of all new workers en-tering the labor force. Womenand minorities will take their place. Threefifths of all new entrants coming intobusiness between 1985 and 2000 will be women, a trend created by sheer economicnecessity as well as cultural redefinitions of the role of women. By the year 2000, about47 percent of the workforce will be women,and 61 percent of all American women willbe em-ployed. Native minorities andimmigrants will make up 42 percent of allnew workers during this decade.
Second, this large influx of womenand minorities will encounter majordifficulties if current trends do not change.
as we saw, a sizable proportion of women are still concentrated in traditionally female jobs that pay less than traditionally male jobs.
at the present time women encounter bar-riers (the so-called“glass ceiling”) when attempting to advanceinto top -paying top management
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment andEarnings, June 1994, Table 56
One study found that only half of the earnings gap might beac-counted for by women’s choices while other studies havefound it could ac-count for a bit more or a bit less. All studies, however, have demonstrated that only a portion of the gap can be accounted for on the basis of male and femaledifferences in education, work experience, work continuity, self-imposed work restrictions, and absenteeism. These studies show that even after taking such differences into account, a gapbetween the earnings of men and women remains that can only be accounted for by discrimination in the labor market. A report of the National Academy of Sciences concluded,“about 35 to 40 percent of the disparity in average earnings isdue to sex seg-regation because women are essentially steeredinto lower-paying ‘women’s jobs.’ Some studies have shownthat perhaps only one tenth of the wage differences betweenmen and women can be accounted for by differences in their“personalities and tastes.” Similar studies have shown that half of the earnings differences between white and minority workerscannot be accounted for by differences of work history, of on-the-job training, of absenteeism, nor of self-imposed restrictionson work hours and 10cation. To make matters worse, several unexpected trends that emerged inthe early nineties and that will be with us until the end of thecentury promise to increase the difficulties facing women andpositions. The large numbers of minorities entering the workforce willalso en-counter significant disadvantages if current trends donot change. As these large waves of minorities hit the labormarket, they will find that most of the new good jobs awaiting them require extremely high levels of skill and ed-ucation thatthey do not have. Of all the new jobs that will be created be-tween now and the year 2000, more than half will require someeducation beyond high school and almost a third will require acollege degree. Among the fastest-growing fields will be professions withextremely high education requirements, such as technicians,engineers, social scientists, lawyers, math-ematicians, scientists,and health professionals; while those fields that will actually seedeclines in numbers consist of jobs that require relatively low levels of education and skills, such as machine tenders andoperators, blue collar supervisors, assemblers, hand workers,miners, and farmers. Even those new jobs that require relatively less skills will have tough require-ments: Secretaries, clerks, andcashiers will need the ability to read and write clearly, to under-stand directions, and to use computers; assembly-line work-ersare already being required to learn statistical process controlmethods employing basic algebra and statistics. The new jobs waiting for minorities will thus demand more education andhigher levels of language, math, and reasoning skills.