Oregon Labor Market Information System
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Where Women Work and How Much They Earn
by Nick Beleiciks
Published Mar-25-2014

 
More than 789,000 jobs at Oregon businesses or state and local governments were held by women in 2012. Women represent 49 percent of employment in Oregon, but the share of jobs held by women varies considerably by industry.

Women's average earnings were $2,992 per month in 2012, which was 67 percent of the $4,486 average monthly earnings of men. The average woman brings home nearly $1,500 a month less than the average man. Like employment, the earnings of women relative to men varies by industry.

The average monthly paycheck for women is about two-thirds the average monthly paycheck for men, but this fact is not a very useful measure of gender pay inequality. Average monthly earnings figures do not take into account other factors affecting pay, such as total hours worked and hourly wages. Adjusting for the number of hours worked narrows the earnings gap between women and men, but still does not account for other factors that can significantly affect pay.

Women's Employment by Industry
 
Women outnumbered men in seven of Oregon's 20 major industry sectors (Table 1). The biggest difference is in health care and social assistance, where three out of four jobs are held by women. Other noticeable majorities of women in the workplace are in educational services (66% women) and the finance and insurance industry (65%). In contrast, women are most noticeably missing from mining (14% women) and construction (17%) worksites.

The health care and educational services industries also have the most number of jobs held by women. Nearly 177,000 of the jobs in health care and social assistance were held by women, and the industry employed 22 percent of Oregon's female workforce. Retail trade also employs a large number of women, but retail jobs are split 50-50 between women and men. Accommodation and food services ranks fourth in terms of number of women workers, and women represent over half of the industry's workforce.

Table 1
Women Outnumber Men in Seven of Oregon's Major Industries
Average Quarterly Employment in 2012
  Employment* Percent
Industry Male Female Both Female
All Industry Sectors 816,469 789,238 1,605,707 49%
Health Care and Social Assistance 54,171 176,519 230,690 77%
Educational Services 49,050 95,253 144,303 66%
Finance and Insurance 19,936 36,897 56,833 65%
Accommodation and Food Services 66,399 82,146 148,545 55%
Other Services 29,864 32,593 62,457 52%
Management of Companies and Enterprises 15,560 16,221 31,781 51%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 39,014 39,076 78,090 50%
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 12,978 12,916 25,894 50%
Retail Trade 92,977 91,778 184,755 50%
Public Administration 38,539 36,233 74,772 48%
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 12,837 11,991 24,828 48%
Administrative Support and Waste Management 53,308 35,981 89,289 40%
Information 21,012 12,642 33,654 38%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 29,449 12,881 42,330 30%
Wholesale Trade 51,742 21,790 73,532 30%
Utilities 5,183 2,097 7,280 29%
Transportation and Warehousing 37,606 14,250 51,856 27%
Manufacturing 125,324 45,014 170,338 26%
Construction 60,160 12,733 72,893 17%
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 1,362 230 1,592 14%
* Does not include federal jobs, student workers, real estate agents, or the self-employed.
Source: Oregon Employment Department and Local Employment Dynamics
Women's Average Earnings by Industry
 
Average monthly paychecks of women were lower than that of men in every industry. The ratio of women's to men's earnings ranged from a relatively close 85 percent in accommodation and food services to a disparate 51 percent in arts, entertainment, and recreation (Table 2). There are many factors behind these disparities in earnings, such as the number of hours worked and the relative wages of occupations with higher concentrations of women, but that information is not available from this data source.

Women working in Oregon's health care and social assistance sector have an average monthly paycheck of $3,259, which is just 58 percent of the men's average. Women working in finance and insurance have a higher average paycheck than women in most other industries, but their earnings pale in comparison to what men are bringing in. With earnings just 54 percent of men's, women in finance and insurance receive an average of nearly $3,700 a month less than what men were making.

The smallest disparity is in accommodation and food services, where women's earnings average 85 percent that of men's. The large share of minimum wage earners in this industry likely contributes to this relative earnings equality. That near equity has a cost though, as average paychecks of both women and men were lower in accommodation and food services than in any other major industry.

Table 2
Not Accounting for Hours Worked or Occupation,
Women's Paychecks are Two-Thirds of Men's
Average Monthly Earnings of Stable Workers in 2012
  Average Monthly Earnings Female Earnings as
Industry Male Female Percent of Male
All Industry Sectors $4,486 $2,992 67%
Accommodation and Food Services 1,706 1,448 85%
Administrative Support and Waste Management 2,945 2,413 82%
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 3,432 2,616 76%
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 4,129 3,097 75%
Public Administration 4,924 3,681 75%
Transportation and Warehousing 3,748 2,796 75%
Educational Services 4,343 3,227 74%
Utilities 6,975 5,133 74%
Wholesale Trade 5,708 4,181 73%
Manufacturing 5,514 3,871 70%
Retail Trade 2,845 1,970 69%
Construction 4,492 3,105 69%
Information 6,024 4,064 67%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 2,922 1,971 67%
Management of Companies and Enterprises 7,003 4,423 63%
Other Services 3,146 1,860 59%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 6,880 4,034 59%
Health Care and Social Assistance 5,661 3,259 58%
Finance and Insurance 7,886 4,229 54%
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 3,107 1,588 51%
* Does not include earnings at federal jobs, student workers, real estate agents, or the self-employed.
Source: Oregon Employment Department and Local Employment Dynamics
Employment and Earnings by Sex Data
 
Information about employment and earnings by industry is from the U.S. Census Bureau's Local Employment Dynamics (LED) partnership with the states. LED provides the most comprehensive data available for employment and earnings of women and men at the state and county level. Employment data is the average of quarterly employment for 2012. Earnings are the average of quarterly earnings in 2012 of workers who worked at least one full quarter during the year.

To explore and use the data available from LED, visit lehd.ces.census.gov.