There is an interesting and somewhat controversial new book out entitled The End of Men: And the Rise of Women. I have not read this book but have read several articles on it and it is stirring reaction. David Brooks picked up on his long held theories about the decline of boys and men. I don’t want to weigh too far in on this issue. It’s really about my pay grade to paraphrase Obama but I will dip my toe in the water with a few stats for your edification.
Since the 1950s, the ratio of men to women in the workforce has been tightening and is now just under 1:1.
In just 10 years, New Brunswick has seen a huge shift in the balance between men and women. The number of men working in New Brunswick has essentially stagnated over the past decade while the number of working women is up by more than nine percent. In other words, New Brunswick doesn’t have an ’employment’ problem, it has a ‘male’ employment problem.
The reason for this is that most of the new jobs being created in the NB economy are dominated by female workers. With the exception of management (where women actually lost ground in the past decade) and natural and applied sciences occupations (poor old Larry Summers), women are dominating in all white collar industries. Look at professional occupations in business and finance in the following table. Look at health. Men still dominate in occupations that involve heavy lifting but that is just about (oh, and the management jobs).
The wage gap has narrowed dramatically in just the past decade. At the current pace, women will earn more than men across virtually all job categories within the next 15-20 years.
Probably the biggest driver of the changes is the education level of the workforce. The women in New Brunswick’s workforce are pulling away from men in terms of education levels. In 2001, women had only a slight advantage in the number with university degrees and far fewer with advanced degrees. Now there are 30% more women with a university degree working in New Brunswick compared to men and the number of women with advanced degrees has zoomed by men.
I’ll let you decide what this all means.