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Women outpace men on U.S. payrolls

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Note: Men count was derived by subtracting women count from total; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

There are more women on American payrolls than men as of the latest U.S. jobs report.

Why it matters: The data reflects a hiring boom in industries that are female-dominated, while sectors that are more likely to employ men are lagging in job gains. The last time women overtook men in payrolls was “during a stretch between June 2009 and April 2010,” according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the milestone.

What they're saying: The reason “comes down to what industries are expanding and which ones are contracting,” Megan Greene, a senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, tells Axios.

  • By the numbers: Women make up 22% of employees in goods-producing sectors (like mining, construction and manufacturing), as of last month.
  • But they make up 54% of services-oriented jobs, including gigs in industries like health care and retail.
  • The services sector is healthy, while manufacturing has seen pain from the trade war. Additionally, services make up a bigger chunk of the U.S. economy.

Other factors may also be at play. For one, the unemployment rate is at a half-century low, shrinking the pool of readily available workers and forcing companies to consider candidates they otherwise wouldn’t have.

Between the lines: Another employment survey of households by the Labor Department shows a persisting gap between men and women. By that measure, 84 million men say they have jobs, while 74 million women say are employed.

  • "Men are more likely to hold jobs not counted on pay­rolls, in­clud­ing the self-em­ployed and farm la­bor­ers,” as the Journal notes. 
  • “And women are more likely to hold multiple jobs.” A sin­gle per­son can be counted twice if they hold multiple jobs in the data shown above.

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