Arizona A Leading State For Women In The Workforce

By Kaitlin Stein
Published: Monday, July 14, 2014 - 5:05am

Arizona is one of the leading states for the number of women in the workforce and equality in pay.

A report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in Arizona women make up 50 percent of the population and 45 percent of the state’s workforce. Percentage wise, women’s earnings in Arizona are the second highest in the nation, making 87 percent of salaries earned by men in equal positions. The national average is only 81percent.

"So, women are in some higher paying jobs in Arizona, which I think helps them surpass that national average," said Thelma Grimes, editor of Inside Tucson Business.

Grimes explained that while Arizona is second only to Nevada in the male-dominated construction industry, those jobs are lower paying. She said that women continue to dominate fields like teaching and healthcare, but higher education is pushing women into senior management and administrative roles, which offer a better salary.

In the 1950s, secretarial jobs and domestic occupations were filled by women. By 2000, women had found their way into nearly every field, and the number of females in the workforce is only expected to grow.

"In 1950, we were 18 million in the workforce," Grimes said. "By the year 2000, you know, we’re at 66 million in the workforce. And they project by the year 2050 we’re going to have 92 million women in the workforce."

As the construction industry and housing market in Arizona rebound, Grimes explained that will lead to a growing population, which in turn will lead to more job opportunities for women in industries such as education and healthcare.

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