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Women in the Workforce: A Wonderful Addition or A Woeful Mistake?

Autor:   •  November 6, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,573 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,371 Views

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Women in the Workforce: A Wonderful Addition or a Woeful Mistake?

Background

Many human resources professionals, scholars, feminists, and economists tout the addition of women to the U.S. workforce. Wendell French (2005) speculates in Human Resources Management that the continuous stream of women entering the workforce will explain a 55% increase in total U.S. labor force expansion between the years of 2002 and 2012 (p. 57). In addition, the percentage of working women continues to increase (French, 2005, p. 57). As women comprise an increasingly larger share of the labor market, their contributions, education, and effect on the economy warrants discussion. The aim of this project is to determine the effects of the entrance of larger proportions of increasingly educated women over the age of 25 with 4 years of college on the productivity of non-farm business in the United States, while holding the rate of population growth for this specific class (females over age 25), average number of hours worked, and average salary constant. This study employs a time-series analysis with observations from 1966 to 2006 included. Demographic data on education was taken from the U.S. Census Bureau and productivity information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The model (less constants and coefficients is):

OUTPUT = %COLLEGE_FEM + AVG_SAL + AVG_HOURS + POP_GROWTH

The result or dependent variable, OUTPUT, includes non-farm, seasonally adjusted output per hour. This variable is calculated using the ratio of the output of goods and services to labor hours required to produce them. %COLLEGE_FEM, the first independent variable, is the percentage of the female population age 25 and over who have completed 4 years of college and is compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau. This measure is used because of the established relationship between productivity and higher learning. If other independent variables are held constant, increases in education should result in a positive change in productivity (Sweetman, 2002 & Saxton, 2000). AVG_SAL is the real hourly compensation received by employees in non-farming business sectors. It is seasonally adjusted and indexed to 1992. This figure is utilized in the formula because wages have become a progressively significant incentive for workers to remain in or become more productive in the workforce. This being said, a positive relationship between average wages and productivity should exist (Fazzari, 2007). The average weekly hours spent on the job is another possible predictor of the dependent variable, OUTPUT. The Census Bureau collects this data from American workers for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many employers make adjustments to the hours which employees work in order to affect changes in productivity (International Labour Office Geneva, 2007). The additional time spent on the

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