Labor: Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing

"This is a historic milestone," Samuel Ehrenhalt, New York commissioner for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, proclaimed last week. He was referring to new figures from the bureau that show that women hold more than 50% of the professional jobs in the U.S. Ehrenhalt's remarks immediately created a stir in major newspapers, which trumpeted the arrival of the "New Majority."

But the story was less significant than it seemed. Female professionals have long been concentrated in fields like teaching and nursing, and the same still holds true. In 1985, women accounted for 73% of teachers, 87% of librarians and 95%...

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