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TheStreet Open House

Men Not at Work: Jobs Women Are Taking Over

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- The previous decade was a tough one for men in the U.S. labor market. The number of women in the workforce grew by more than two million between 2000 and 2010, according to historical data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile the number of men employed during this period remained largely stagnant, growing by just 54,000 in 10 years.

In some ways, one can trace the trend back to the early 1970s, when women started to flock to universities around the country and pursue full-time careers afterward. But according to several economists and labor experts, several other factors have contributed as well, perhaps most notably the loss of manufacturing jobs that typically employ men. As a result, men have seen their footing slip in dozens of professions, ranging from medicine to education.

While women remain hesitant about entering professions such as construction and manufacturing, it is becoming more common for women to manage those working in these industries -- part of a larger shift toward women in the workplace.

We combed through the BLS data to find how the gender makeup has changed for more than a hundred jobs by comparing the percentage of men in each occupation in 2000 to the percentage as of last year. The following are the careers where men have experienced the biggest loss compared with women.

11th-biggest change: Postal service mail carriers
In the future, you might want to think twice before referring to workers in this profession as mailmen. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of men employed as mail carriers dropped by 50,000, while the number of women increased by 13,000. As a result, women, who used to account for just 30% of the profession, now make up nearly 40%, and if this trend continues, women could account for nearly half of all mail carriers by the end of this decade.
Percentage of male workers in 2000: 69.8%
Percentage of male workers in 2010: 62.3%
Decline in percentage of male workers: 7.5 percentage points

10th-biggest change: Medical scientists
Many professions in the science and health care industries have seen a major change in gender distribution, driven in part by the growing number of women who pursue college education and graduate with advanced degrees. Medical scientists, who usually are required to have a Ph.D., typically work in labs or at pharmaceutical companies, according to the BLS.

During the previous decade, the number of women working in this profession increased by 25,000, far outpacing the 5,000 men added to the industry. This means men are now officially in the minority among medical scientists.
Percentage of male workers in 2000: 54%
Percentage of male workers in 2010: 46.2%
Decline in percentage of male workers: 7.8 percentage points

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