Women Underrepresented in Clackamas County Manufacturing

by Lynn Wallis

April 10, 2017

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women are underrepresented in the manufacturing sector and while they make up 47 percent of the labor force, they make up only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce in the nation.

A recent study sponsored by Women in Manufacturing (WiM) found that women who don’t work in this industry often have visions of factories, assembly lines, and men in overalls. Today, this is only a small percentage of what working in manufacturing actually looks like. A wide variety of positions  are involved in today’s manufacturing including high-level, high-earning jobs in areas such as life sciences, technology, media and telecommunications, energy, automotive, and many others.
Clackamas County has a slightly higher rate of women working in manufacturing than the national average with nearly two out of five workers being female (38%). In 2015, Clackamas County manufacturers employed 11,800 men and 4,500 women.

While unadjusted wages for female workers in manufacturing in Clackamas County have risen by 21 percent since 2010, women earned only 72 percent of what men earned in the first quarter of 2016. 

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