- A new GOBankingRates study found that Denton, Texas, was one of the top 20 cities that saw a significant increase in its working female population.
- Denton outpaced all of Texas’ most populous cities — including Dallas, Houston and San Antonio — placing No. 11 overall in the study.
- From 2007-2017, the percentage of women entering the workforce in Denton increased by 38 percent.
The days of the stay-at-home mom have long passed. Since 1950, the number of working-age women — defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as ages 16 and older — in the labor market has jumped from 34 percent to 57.5 percent. And, according to a 2016 study from the Center for American Progress, nearly two-thirds of American moms are the breadwinners in their families. Despite all of the progress, though, women as a whole are still underrepresented in the workforce.
Using the state of Texas as an example, the working population in each of the state’s four largest cities — Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin — heavily skew male, with 53 percent or more of working-age males representing the labor force in each city, according to GOBankingRates data. While males still represent the majority of workers in most cities, that’s not to say that women are faring poorly. Many cities have seen a major increase in their working female populations over the past decade.
According to a recent GOBankingRates study, one city outside of Dallas has seen a more significant increase in the number of women in its labor force than any other city in Texas. For the study, GOBankingRates took the largest 200 cities by population in the U.S. and analyzed the percentages of women and men in the labor force, median earnings for both groups and the percentage increase of both groups in the job market between 2007-2017 to determine the top 20 cities where women are “taking over” the job market.
The Female Workforce in Denton Grew Larger Than Any Other Texas City
Of the 23 cities in Texas that were included among the 200 biggest U.S. cities, the one that ranked the highest in GOBankingRates’ study was Denton.
Located 40 miles northwest of Dallas, Denton saw one of the largest increases in the percentage of women entering the workforce. From 2007-2017, the percentage of women entering the workforce jumped from 17.6 percent in 2012 to 38 percent in 2017. The percentage of men entering the workforce in Denton increased at a smaller pace from 15.1 percent to 20.7 percent. By 2017, the percentage of working-age men and women was nearly equal.
As for which jobs women are landing in Denton, educational services and healthcare sectors represent more than a third of the city’s female labor force.
This trend isn’t exclusive to Denton. Data shows that women all across the state of Texas are entering the workforce at a healthy rate. McKinney — the only other city in Texas to rank within the study’s top 20 cities — also saw an impressive increase, with 57.3 percent of females entering the workforce during the same 10-year span. However, the city ranked lower than Denton in this study as the percentage of working-age men increased at a similar rate of 54.2 percent.
Don’t Move Yet — Women Still Earn Far Less Than Men
While women in Denton and McKinney are well represented in the working population, they still have to deal with lower wages. Of the top 20 cities in the study, Denton ranked the lowest in terms of female pay with median earnings of $17,946. Men didn’t fare much better relative to male earnings in other cities, ranking fifth worst among the top 20 cities with median earnings of $30,204.
Despite the low median pay, the increase in women working should still inspire confidence. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, as more women joined the workforce in U.S. metropolitan areas, the cities in those metro areas became more productive and increased wages. The study also found that for every city that experienced a 10 percent increase in the number of women working, the city also enjoyed a 5 percent increase in wages.
There is still plenty of work to be done to close the wage gap. For women who are looking to enter the workforce — or women looking for a new job — it’s important to research what the position is worth before you negotiate a salary. Know how much the average individual in your position makes, find ways to further improve your skill set and build up your network to increase your chances of landing that high-paying job.
What Women Want: Study Shows Wage Gap Is Still a Top Priority for Female Jobseekers
Keep reading to see how women’s finances have changed over the last 100 years.
More on Women and Jobs
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- How Women Can Close the Gender Wage Gap
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- 13 Women You Didn’t Realize Were Running Your Favorite Companies
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Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the cities where women are taking over based on several factors: (1) percentage of women in the labor force; (2) percentage of men in the labor force; (3) percentage increase in women in the job market over the last five and 10 years; (4) percentage increase in men in the job market over the last five and 10 years; (5) median earnings for women; and (6) median earnings for men, all sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey, as well as (7) top industries. A list of cities was generated based on the largest 200 cities by population in the U.S.