Abstract

This paper examines the impact of women’s labor force participation on occupational scores by comparing occupational status scores based on the characteristics of the 1970 male labor force with a set of occupational status scores based on the characteristics of the total 1970 labor force. Although the two sets of scores are highly correlated, important differences are found in the scores for specific occupations as well as for major occupational groups. Using the traditional list of 12 major occupational categories, we find that the positions of clerical workers and craftsmen are reversed when status scores are derived from data on all incumbents in the labor force rather than on male incumbents alone. The paper suggests that, with the increased participation of women in the labor force and the concomitant change in the sex composition of the work force, the traditional approaches to the measurement of occupational status based solely on male incumbents may no longer be valid for examining the occupational hierarchy of contemporary American society.

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