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The State of Diversity in Today’s Workforce

The State of Diversity in Today’s Workforce

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Crosby Burns, Kimberly Barton, and Sophia Kerby examine the state and strength of diversity in the U.S. workforce, specifically the number and proportion of people of color, women, gay and transgender individuals, and people with disabilities in the workforce today.
Crosby Burns, Kimberly Barton, and Sophia Kerby examine the state and strength of diversity in the U.S. workforce, specifically the number and proportion of people of color, women, gay and transgender individuals, and people with disabilities in the workforce today.

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Published by: Center for American Progress on Jul 12, 2012
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1Center or American Progress |  The State o Diversity in Today’s Workorce
 The State of Diversityin Todays Workforce
As Our Nation Becomes More DiverseSo Too Does Our Workforce
Crosby Burns, Kimberly Barton, and Sophia Kerby July 2012
 A diverse economy is a srong economy. Businesses ha embrace our naions changingdemographics reap he economic benes o a diverse and inclusive workorce.Businesses ha recrui rom a diverse workorce are beter able o nd he bes and he brighes alen needed o compee in an increasingly compeiive economy. By bringingogeher our dieren backgrounds, skills, and experiences, businesses are beter able o breed he ype o innovaive and creaive soluions needed o succeed in an increasinglcompeiive economy. Businesses ha embrace diversiy also realize signican increasesin workorce produciviy and job perormance. More broadly, a diverse workorcedrives economic growh, as more women, racial and ehnic minoriies, and gay andransgender individuals ener he workorce.
1
In shor, diversiy is key o osering a srong andinclusive economy ha is buil o las. Tis issue brie examines he sae and srengh o diversiy in he U.S. workorce. Specically, we look a henumber and proporion o people o color, women,gay and ransgender individuals, and people wihdisabiliies in he workorce oday.
How diverse is the U.S. workforce?
 Today’s labor force at a glance
Beore we examine he sae o diversiy in he workplace, le’s rs examine saisics and broaderrends in he labor marke.
2
FIGURE 1
An overview of the workforce
Employment by sector, 2011
020,00040,00060,00080,000100,000120,000Private Public LocalStateFederal
Number employed (in thousands)
111,14521,94314,0775,0602,806
Total (non-farm): 133,088
83.51%
16.49%10.58%3.8%2.11%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 
2Center or American Progress |  The State o Diversity in Today’s Workorce
In June 2012 approximaely 155,163,000 people were in he labor orce (hose acively employed or seeking employmen).
3
Wih a oal U.S. working-age populaion o approximaely 243 million individuals, he labor orce paricipaion rae currenly sandsa 63.8 percen.
4
Ou o hose 155 million individuals in he labor orce, 142,415,000 arecurrenly employed, wih unemploymen hovering around 8.2 percen.
5
By 2020 he labor orce is projeced o reach more han 164 million people, a 5.9 percenincrease rom oday.
6
Bu economiss projec he labor orce paricipaion rae will drop overhe coming decades, as an aging populaion o baby boomers exis he workorce.
7
Mos employed workers are in he privae secor: 111,145,000 (83.51 percen) work in heprivae secor and 21,943,000 (16.49 percen) work in he public secor.
8
Specically, 10.58percen work or municipal governmens, 3.8 percen work or sae governmens, and 2.11percen work or he ederal governmen.
9
Given he imporance o diversiy o our economy and o our sociey, le’s now urn ohe economic daa o beter undersand he sae o diversiy in oday’s workorce.
People of color
Te U.S. workorce is undoubedly becoming more diverse. As o June 2012 peopleo color made up 36 percen o he labor orce.
10
Breaking i down by race and ehnic-iy, approximaely 99,945,000 (64 percen) in he labor orce are non-Hispanic whie;24,679,000 (16 percen) are Hispanic; 18,758,000 (12 percen) are Arican American;and 8,202,000 (5 percen) are Asian.
11
Approximaely 4,801,000 people (3 percen) inhe labor orce do no ideniy in any o hese racial or ehnic caegories.
12
Te proporion o people o color paricipaing in he workorce will only increase as heUnied Saes becomes a more racially and ehnically diverse counry. Census daa ell usha by 2050 here will beno racial or ehnic majoriy in our counry.
13
Furher, beween2000 and 2050 new immigrans and heir children will accoun or83 perceno hegrowh in he working-age populaion.
14
 Wihin hese communiies, more Hispanic men and Arican American women (aged20 and over) are in he labor orce han Hispanic women and Arican American men.O Hispanics in he labor orce, 58 percen are men, and 42 percen are women.
15
O  Arican Americans in he labor orce, 53 percen are women, and 47 percen are men.
16
FIGURE 2
People of color make upnearly one-third of thelabor force
Non-Hispanic whiteHispanicAfrican AmericanAsianDid not identify raciallyor ethnically64%
16%12%
3%5%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
FIGURE 3
Race and gender in thelabor force
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Hispanics
WomenMen
AfricanAmericans58%47%53%42%
 
3Center or American Progress |  The State o Diversity in Today’s Workorce
Women
 Womens labor orce paricipaion has grown dramaically over he pas ew decades.Currenly women accoun or 47 percen o he labor orce.
17
In absolue numbers hismeans ha approximaely 72,713,000 women over age 16 are in he labor orce oday,compared o 82,450,000 men over age 16, who accoun or 53 percen o he labororce.
18
Tis is a major increase rom 1950, when women represened jus 29.6 perceno he workorce.
19
By 2020 he number o women in he workorce is expeced o grow o 77,232,000, anincrease o 6.2 percen rom oday.
20
Moreover, by 2020 women’s paricipaion rae inhe labor orce is expeced o be greaer han ha o men.
21
In erms o employmen, he curren unemploymen rae or women is also lower hanmen’s—7.4 percen o women are unemployed, compared o 7.8 percen o men.
22
 Women o color make up 33 percen o women in he workorce.
23
Breaking i down by race and ehniciy, 67 percen o women in he workorce are non-Hispanic whie, 13percen are Hispanic, 13 percen are black, 5 percen are Asian, and 2 percen are oher.
24
Noably, hese percenages are nearly idenical o he working-age populaion o hesesubgroups. Sixy-six percen o working-age women are non-Hispanic whie, 14 percenare Hispanic, 13 percen are black, 5 percen are Asian, and 2 percen are oher.
25
Gay and transgender workers
Te Unied Saes is home o approximaely 9 million gay and ransgender aduls.
26
Inabsolue erms, researchers a he Williams Insiue esimae ha here are 585,000 gay or ransgender workers in local governmen; 418,000 gay or ransgender workers insae governmen; and 200,000 gay or ransgender workers in he ederal governmen.In oher words, a litle more han 1 million gay or ransgender individuals work in hepublic secor. By conras, approximaely 7 million workers in he privae secor are gay or ransgender.
27
 According o he Williams Insiue’s daa, gay and ransgender workers make up 6.28percen o he workorce oday. Moreover, gay and ransgender workers have higher rep-resenaion in he privae secor—where hey make up 6.48 percen o he workorce—han in he public secor, where hey make up 5.31 percen o he workorce.
FIGURE 4
Women make upnearly half of today’slabor force
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
47%
Women
53%
Men
FIGURE 5
Women in the workforceby race and ethnicity
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Non-Hispanic whiteHispanicAfrican AmericanAsianOther
67%13%13%
2%5%

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