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Women in the Michigan Workforce

March 29, 2024

2024 Report

Women make up just under 50% of the Michigan labor force. This report aims to highlight key factors that contribute to challenges women in the workforce face. Discrepancies in average pay, hours worked, and labor force participation are just some of the areas highlighted. This report is an updated version of the 2021 Women in the Michigan Workforce report with an expanded focus on education, training, and regional information. In addition, the current report uses different age groupings and calculations, so it is not directly comparable to the 2021 report.

  • Michigan women who work full-time, year-round earn approximately 81 cents per dollar that men earn. This discrepancy only becomes more prominent when looking at hours worked, race and ethnicity, and educational attainment. 
  • Labor force participation rates for women are below those of men. In Michigan, women had a participation rate of 57.3 percent which is nearly 10 percentage points below the rate of 67.2 percent for men.
  • Women are more likely than men to hold multiple jobs and are less likely to work full-time. Approximately 50 percent of women worked more than 35 hours per week compared to nearly 70 percent of men. 
  • Poverty is more likely to impact women than men. In 2022, 14.6 percent of Michigan women were impoverished compared to 12.1 percent of men. Like earnings, this gap only becomes more pronounced when broken down by different demographics.
  • Women often work in service-related industries and occupations that typically offer below-average earnings. Roughly four of every five women worked in an industry where average earnings for women were below the all-industry average.
  • Women are underrepresented in STEM fields, which are typically high-demand, high-wage occupations. Despite earning close to 60 percent of the total degrees and certificates awarded, women only accounted for about 38.8 percent of degrees and certificates in STEM.
  • The share of women in Registered Apprenticeships is growing, but still small. Women made up one in every 10 active registered apprentices, an increase from the roughly one in every 12 in 2014.
  • Women with children under five participate in the labor force at rates more than 20 percentage points lower than their male counterparts. This, and other data, shows the responsibility of caring for young children often falls on women, impacting their ability to work.
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