It’s no secret that at one time in the U.S. the workforce was a man’s world. After all, over 50 years ago in 1967, almost half of all women were at home raising their families, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But times have changed. As of December 2018, almost 59 percent of women 20 years and older were considered part of the civilian labor force — and some of these women are taking over the job market in certain areas, according to the BLS.
GOBankingRates determined the cities where women are taking over based on data detailing percentages of women and men in the labor force, median earnings for both groups and percentage increase of both women and men in the job market over the last five and 10 years. And as they take over in some areas, women could be coming closer to closing the pay gap with their male counterparts.
20. Orlando, Fla.
In Orlando, where the city’s most popular industry is healthcare and social assistance, the influx of male and female workers into the job market has varied. For example, from 2007 to 2012, the job market in Orlando saw a 12.3 percent increase in women workers versus a 17.2 percent increase in male workers. During the 10-year period from 2007 to 2017, however, females entering the workforce clearly took the lead over their male counterparts: 31.6 percent versus 22.7 percent.
19. Charlotte, N.C.
In 2007, there were more males than females employed in the workforce in Charlotte, but things have been changing there. The percentage of female workers entering the workforce from 2007 to 2012 reflected a 16.2 percent increase. When looking at the 10-year span from 2007 to 2017, however, that number is more than double — showing a 33.7 percent increase.
The female numbers become even more impressive when you compare them to the percentage of males entering the workforce during the same time periods: 15.3 percent and 23.5 percent, respectively.
Learn: Why Women Change Jobs
18. Greensboro, N.C.
Between 2007 and 2017, the percentage of females entering the workforce almost tripled from 8.1 percent to 23.6 percent, and that might have something to do with their standing in the labor force.
There are 12 cities out of the top 20 covered in this list in which women comprise a greater proportion of the labor force than men, and Greensboro is one of them. Today, the percentage of working women in the city’s labor force is 50.8 percent versus 49.2 percent of working men.
Part of the increase might have to do with the number of male versus female workers in Greensboro’s top industry, healthcare and social assistance. The industry saw a 6 percent decrease in male workers entering the industry from 2007 to 2017, dropping from 28.1 percent to 22 percent, whereas the female workers increased 6 percent during that same time from 71.9 percent to 78 percent.
17. Cambridge, Mass.
Although females increased in the Cambridge workforce by 17.7 percent from 2007 to 2017, the increase of males during the same period was less: only 14.2 percent. Today, females comprise 50.1 percent of the city’s labor force, whereas males make up only 49.9 percent.
The top two industries for females in Cambridge are educational services and healthcare and social assistance. Approximately 70 percent of the women in the city’s workforce are employed collectively within these two industries, as opposed to 29.8 percent of males.
16. McKinney, Texas
Although males still make up the majority of the labor force versus females — 54 percent to 46 percent — women stack up pretty nicely in McKinney. From 2007 to 2017, females logged a larger percentage increase in workforce presence than males, going from 25.4 percent to 57.3 percent, whereas males experienced a lesser increase of 30.6 percent to 54.2 percent.
Like many other cities on this list, McKinney’s top industry is healthcare and social assistance followed by educational services — industries where females outnumbered males almost 3 to 1 in 2007, 2012 and 2017.
15. Tallahassee, Fla.
Tallahassee’s labor force consists of a larger percentage of women than men: 51.7 to 48.3, respectively. From 2007 to 2017, female presence in the workforce increased 9 percent, from 6.8 percent to 15.8 percent. In contrast, male presence increased much less — only 4 percent overall.
The top industry in Tallahassee for females is educational services, which employs 18.8 percent of the total female workforce population, followed by healthcare, which employs 17.7 percent of all working women.
In addition, Tallahassee has the closest median income between men and women: $22,959 versus $21,567, respectively, which means that women are not too far from taking the lead in average earnings in the city.
In Boston, more females entered the workforce from 2007 to 2017 as compared to males. During that time period, the percentage of female workers jumped from 11.7 percent to 21.7 percent.
The number of males entering the workforce during that same period, however, was not as impressive, increasing less than 4 percentage points — from 12.5 percent to 16.3 percent.
Overall, females make up 50.6 percent of Boston’s labor force, and males comprise the remaining 49.4 percent.
Although there was only a slight drop — 18.9 to 17.7 — in the percentage of women entering the job market from 2007 to 2017, the percentage of males dropped more drastically, from 8.7 to 0.6. Even though fewer men entered the workforce than women during the 10-year span, Atlanta is not a city in which women comprise a greater portion of the labor force than men. Men hold the majority with 50.3 percent.
Atlanta is the only city where the percentage of females and males actually decreased during the 10-year span. All other cities showed an increase for both populations.
Philadelphia is one of the 12 cities on this list in which women outnumber men in the labor force. Females saw an almost 10 percent increase in the job market from 2007 to 2017 — 7.2 percent to 17.1 percent. Meanwhile, males saw only about half that increase from 9 percent to 14 percent.
The top industry in Philadelphia is healthcare and social assistance, which employs 30.3 percent of the entire female workforce — the second-largest number of female workers in the industry across all places in the study.
Plus, Philadelphia is one of the cities that has the closest median earnings between males and females: $32,545 versus $28,919, and females might someday pull ahead.
11. Denton, Texas
Although Denton isn’t one of the places where women comprise a larger percentage of the labor force than men, the percentage of women versus men entering the labor force from 2007 to 2017 shows that women have made progress.
During the 10-year span, the percentage of women entering the workforce increased from 17.6 percent to 38 percent, whereas the percentage of men entering the workforce during the same time reflected a smaller increase of 15.1 percent to 20.7 percent.
Debunked: Myths About Women and Finance
10. Charleston, S.C.
From 2007 to 2017, the percentage of women entering the workforce increased more than twice as much as the percentage of men.
Charleston is one of the places where women outnumber men in the workforce with large numbers of women holding jobs in a variety of industries. For example, the top four industries for women workers are healthcare and social assistance (23.2 percent); educational services (13.5 percent); accommodation and food services (11.3 percent); and retail and trade (11.2 percent) — all of which make up of over 60 percent of the female workforce.
9. Raleigh, N.C.
Although men outnumber women in the Raleigh labor force, women made significant gains during the period from 2007 to 2017. During that time, the percentage of women workers increased a total of 26.6 percent, whereas the percentage of increase in men workers during that same time totaled less than half that amount at 11.1 percent.
8. Richmond, Va.
In Richmond, the percentage of women in the workforce outnumbers the percentage of men: 50.5 to 49.5. Plus, the overall percentage of women entering the labor force between 2007 and 2017 was higher than the percentage of men who entered during the same period. Women workers increased from 12.9 percent to 23.9 percent, whereas men workers realized a lesser increase of 10.6 percent to 18.9 percent.
Healthcare and social assistance and educational services are the top two industries for women in Richmond, of which women occupy over 76 percent of jobs in these areas. In contrast, men only occupy 23.8 percent of all jobs in these areas.
7. Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Although significant gains were made in the percentage of both women and men entering the workforce from 2007 to 2017, women workers reflected the larger increase. During the 10-year period, the percentage of women entering the workforce more than doubled, going from a 22.8 percent increase to a 52.5 percent increase. The percentage of men entering the workforce during that same time had a similar starting point of 22.7, but only reached a high of 40.6 percent.
6. Columbia, Mo.
When it comes to the number of women in the workforce versus men, Columbia and Richmond, Va., are no different: In both cities, women comprise 51.5 percent of the labor force, whereas men comprise a lesser portion of 48.5 percent.
Plus, just like Richmond, Columbia saw a larger percentage increase of women entering the workforce than men between 2007 and 2017. The percentage of females entering the Columbia workforce increased from 14 percent to 30.7 percent. The percentage of males increased slightly less, from 7.9 percent to 20.7 percent.
5. Washington, D.C.
Although the percentage gains of women and men in the workforce here aren’t the highest on the list, they aren’t the lowest either. From 2007 to 2017, the percentage of women workers in Washington, D.C., increased from 15.6 percent to 26 percent, but the increase was less significant for men: 16.3 percent to 23.8 percent.
In Washington, D.C., females comprise the majority of the labor force and have done so since at least 2007. The top three industries for females in the nation’s capital are professional, scientific and technical services at 17.2 percent; public administration at 16.2 percent and healthcare and social assistance at 12.7 percent. Altogether, these industries employ over 46 percent of the female labor force.
4. Durham, N.C.
Even though the percentage of women versus men entering the workforce in this city had a similar starting point — 16.7 to 16.8 — women gained the most percentage points over the 10-year period. There was a 12.9 percent increase in women workers versus the lesser 7.8 percent increase for men.
Durham ranks in the top three cities for the number of women versus men in the labor force — 51.6 percent to 41.4 percent — tied with Washington, D.C. In addition, the difference in 2017 median earnings for males versus females is one of the closest on this list. Men earned $35,929, while women earned $32,014.
3. Savannah, Ga.
It’s clear that more women than men were entering Savannah’s workforce during the ten-year period from 2007 to 2017. The percentage of women taking on jobs increased from 14.1 percent to 24.5 percent, whereas the percentage of men entering the labor force was much less, only 9.4 percent to 12.4 percent.
This partially explains why the city has a larger female workforce than male — 52.6 percent vs. 47.4 percent — the highest and lowest percentages in this category.
2. New Orleans
From 2007 to 2017, the percentage of women entering the workforce increased from 20.3 percent to 40.1 percent. Men experienced a larger increase — 14.1 percent to 37.7 percent, or an increase of 23.6 points.
According to 2017 data, the average male worker in Louisiana also earned more than the average female worker. But there’s one area where females are in the lead: They make up the majority of the labor force — 50.9 percent to 49.1 percent.
1. Enterprise, Nev.
The increase in the amount of both women and men entering the workforce over the 10-year span is remarkable. The amount of women leaped from 41.1 percent to 141 percent — the highest increase on the list. The amount of men entering the workforce was also far above any other city on the list, going from 29.5 percent to 115.1 percent.
The top three industries for women in Enterprise are accommodation and food services at 23.2 percent; healthcare and social assistance at 15.4 percent; and arts, entertainment and recreation at 10.8 percent. These industries employ almost half of all women in the city’s labor force.
Click through to see the incredible ways women’s finances have changed over 100 years.
More on Making Money
- Americans Are Finding More Job Opportunities in These 20 States
- The Highest-Paid Job in Your State
- Here’s the Industry That Pays Women a Staggering 38% Less Than Men
- Watch: Best and Worst States for the Middle Class
We make money easy. Get weekly email updates, including expert advice to help you Live Richer™.
GOBankingRates determined which cities women are taking over based on several factors, including: (1) percentage of women in the labor force; (2) percentage of men in the labor force; (3) percentage increase in women in job market over the last five and ten years; (4) percentage increase in men in job market over the last five and ten years; (5) median earnings for women; and (6) median earnings for men. All data, including top industries, was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau. List of cities was generated based on the largest 200 cities by population in the U.S.