Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

It's a Woman's World to Young Workers Here Females Hold Majority of Jobs at Ages 16-24

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

It's a Woman's World to Young Workers Here Females Hold Majority of Jobs at Ages 16-24

Article excerpt

Young women in St. Louis rank ahead of the curve on a nationwide employment trend.

Here, they are already a slight majority in the workplace, a U.S. Census Bureau analysis shows.

Analysts don't expect women nationwide to catch up to men until the next century.

U.S. Department of Labor analysts estimate that women were 45 percent of the national workforce in 1990 and will become 47 percent of workers by 2005. But in the St. Louis area, women held 47.02 percent of the jobs in 1990 - and 50.79 percent among workers 16 through 24.

Russell Signorino, an employment analyst for the Missouri Division of Employment Security, suggested two reasons for the increase in women workers in St. Louis:

More black women have jobs than black men, representing 7.9 percent of the workforce, compared with 6.6 percent.

The number of jobs in traditionally female fields is growing, while the number of jobs in traditionally male fields is shrinking.

In health careers other than doctors, three of four workers are women, Signorino said. Among craft workers - mechanics, construction trades, for instance - more than nine out of 10 workers are men.

Two broad categories represent the most jobs in St. Louis. One is mostly men, one mostly women.

In the precision, production, craft and repair category, 91.3 percent of the 130,004 workers are men. In the administrative support category, which includes office workers, 78.4 percent of the 214,790 workers are women.

Speaking of the national trend, Signorino said younger women are entering the work force with the idea of staying. Their salaries are needed to keep up the family's standard of living.

And while their mothers may have expected to quit working to rear a family, young women today plan short maternity leaves, not motherhood retirements, Signorino said.

Take Colleen Harris, 20, of St. Louis. She is a third-year nursing student at Barnes Nursing College.

"A couple months off for maternity leave, that's all I'd need," Harris said. Looking ahead to her life of work, Harris sees herself working in some capacity as a nurse or a volunteer "until I'm 90. …

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