More women are in the workforce than ever before
- There has been a dramatic increase in the number of women participating in the paid workforce in the past number of decades. In 2004, 58% of all women aged 15 and over were in the paid workforce, up from 42%in 1976.
- A high number of women in their child-rearing years are in the workforce: 77% of women aged 25-44 were in the paid workforce in 2004.
- In 2004, 70% of women whose youngest child was aged three to five were in the workforce, up from 37% in 1976.
- Recently there has been a significant rise in the employment rate of older women. Between 1995-2002 the employment rate of women aged 55-59 rose from 44% to 51% and that of women aged 60-64 rose from 22% to 29%.
- The number of women in unions has been increasing. In 2004, 32% of female workers belonged to a union, double the figure in 1966 when just 16% of women workers were unionized. Men’s unionization rates have been dropping: from just over 40% in the late 1960s to 32% in 2004.
- The unemployment rate for women of colour is about 10%, while for all women it is approximately 7%.
Women are more likely to work part-time
- In 2004, women accounted for 7 out of every 10 part-time workers.
- Women are more likely to work part-time because of childcare or family responsibilities. In 2004, 18% of employed women said they worked part-time because of childcare or other personal responsibilities, compared with only 2% of males employed part-time.
- Twenty-six per cent of all women working part-time in 2004 said they did so because they could not find full-time employment.
Women’s incomes - the pay gap continues!
- In 2003, the average annual income of women was $24,400, or 62% of what men earned.
- Women working full-time, full-year earned on average $36,500 in 2003, or 71% of what men working full-time, full-year earned ($51,700).
- Women of colour are better educated on average than other Canadian women, yet women of colour make almost 14% less than all women workers.
- There are 67% more women than men in the lowest income group (under $30,000 per year). There are 337% (!) more men than women in the highest income group (over $100,000). In the mid to high income group ($30,000 - $100,000) there are 67% more men than women.
- Statistics Canada, Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report, March 2006, cat. # 89-503-XIE.
- Cheung Leslie, Canadian Labour Congress, Racial Status and Employment Outcome, Research Pager #34, October 2005.
- Policy Action Research, Status of Women Action Group, March 2006.