Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, in January of 2021 the labor force participation rate for women dropped to 57%. This was the lowest it had been since 1988, when it fell to less than 58% (compared to when it reached above 60% in the late 90s and into the aughts).
It is believed that the childcare crisis, driven by pandemic-related daycare and school closures, has caused many women with children to leave their jobs. Some jobs, though, are seeing an increase.
SmartAsset crunched the numbers to see which professions are gaining in their ranks of women workers. This is SmartAsset’s third annual study on the fastest-growing jobs for women in America. Check out the prior version here.
To find these professions, we looked at BLS employment figures for 2016 and compared them to 2020. For more details on how we found and analyzed our data, read the data and methodology section at the end.
Following are the fastest-growing jobs for women.
1. Couriers and messengers
In 2016, there were 41,768 women working as couriers and messengers.
By 2020, that number had gone up 212.75%, with a total of 130,628 women working in the field.
2. Vehicles and equipment cleaners
In 2020, 66,048 women worked cleaning vehicles and related equipment. That’s 23,408 more than the 42,640 who did so in 2016, a 54.9% jump.
This is a field where the increase in women far outpaced the overall growth, which sat at just 4.88% between 2016 and 2020.
3. Market research analysts and marketing specialists
Women are increasingly filling market research analyst and marketing specialist positions, which take the No. 3 spot in our study.
There were 166,100 women in these positions in 2016, and by 2020 that had gone up 54.53% to 256,668.
4. Supervisors of transportation and material moving workers
Supervising transportation and material moving workers saw an overall employment increase of 39.47% in between 2016 and 2020.
In terms of women workers, employment went from 40,660 to 62,275, a 53.16% jump.
Logisticians help a company analyze and optimize their internal logistics.
There were 37,145 women filling these roles in 2016. That went up 50.78% by 2020, when 56,007 worked as logisticians.
6. Civil engineers
The total number of civil engineers actually decreased from 425,000 to 422,000 from 2016 to 2020, making it the only role in the top 10 of this study to see a decrease.
The number of women working as civil engineers, though, went up 47.10% during that time – from 45,900 to 67,520.
7. Public relations and fundraising managers
Public relations and fundraiser managers help make sure a business interfaces well with the public.
The number of women in these jobs went from 43,958 to 63,080 between 2016 and 2020, a 43.50% jump. Women make up 66.4% of this field.
8. Physician assistants
Physician assistants work alongside doctors and nurses to care for patients. This is another job where women are the majority, making up 65.5% of the field in 2020.
The number of women working as physician assistants was 64,400 in 2016 and had increased to 92,355 in 2020, a 43.41% increase.
9. Respiratory therapists
Here we have another medical field where women make up the majority of the field – 72.4%, the highest percentage in this study’s top 10.
There were 61,740 female respiratory therapists in 2016. That number climbed to 88,328 in 2020, a 43.06% increase.
10. Detectives and criminal investigators
This is a field where women are still a fairly small minority, making up just 26.4% of detectives and criminal investigators.
Still, there has been progress, with the number of women in these jobs increasing 36.82% between 2016 and 2020, jumping from 30,680 to 41,976.
Data and methodology
To find the fastest-growing jobs for women, SmartAsset analyzed employment data from 2016 and 2020, the most recent year for which detailed occupational employment data is available.
We filtered out any occupation that employed fewer than 25,000 women in 2016. We also filtered out any occupation with “other” or “miscellaneous” in the title due to lack of occupational specificity.
We used the four-year percentage change in women employed in each occupation to rank all the jobs, from highest percentage increase to lowest.
All data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
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