10 Facts: Women in the Workforce: U.S. Versus the Rest


From the Globalist

  1. In 1990, the United States ranked near the top in terms of women labor force participation rates in developed nations.
  2. Back then, only five nations – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Canada and Finland – ranked higher.
  3. U.S. female labor participation peaked in 1999 at 77%.
  4. Since 1999, U.S. female labor participation has decreased for 12 out of the past 14 years, bottoming out at just under 74% in 2014.
  5. While the United States struggled to increase the percentage of women active in the workforce, European nations thrived.
  6. As of mid-2014, six European nations had female labor participation rates of 85% or higher.
  7. The leaders among OECD nations are now Slovenia, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Austria and Switzerland.
  8. The United States now only falls in the low middle among the OECD nations.
  9. Since the end of the last recession in 2009, the U.S. labor force participation rate for women has fallen by two percentage points (from 75.7% in 2009 to 73.8% in mid-2014).
  10. However, U.S. women are far more likely than their European counterparts to be employed in full-time work, and are equally likely as men to be considered for managerial positions.