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Invest in Women, Invest in America: A Comprehensive Review of Women in the U.S. Economy: A Report by the Majority Staff of the Joint Economic Committee

Invest in Women, Invest in America: A Comprehensive Review of Women in the U.S. Economy: A Report by the Majority Staff of the Joint Economic Committee

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This report provides a comprehensive overview on women’s position in the economy today. Decades of progress mean women are poised to lead the nation’s next chapter of economic growth. Yet roadblocks remain, and these blockades are hampering women’s ability to reach their full economic potential. The cost of this log-jam is paid not only by women and their families, but by the economy as a whole. Jump-starting economic growth and putting the nation on a path to prosperity requires investing in women in order to allow them to meet their full economic potential. The result will be greater prosperity and progress for all. For the first time in our nation’s history, women comprise half of the U.S. workforce (49.8 percent). In 1970, women accounted for just over one-third (35.6 percent). These figures alone highlight the stunning transformation of the U.S. economy over the last several decades, and women’s profound role in that transformation. Women today work in key industries throughout the economy. Women comprise 77.4 percent of workers in education and health services, the fastest growing sector of the U.S. economy. 59.3 percent of employees in the financial activities industry are women.2 And at least half of the jobs in government, leisure and hospitality services, and other services are held by women. Female workers currently comprise the majority share of all but three of the fifteen occupations with the largest projected employment growth between 2006 and 2016.3 In short, women play a critical role in many of the economy’s key growth sectors