Monday, September 12, 2016

Women in Oregon's Construction and Forestry Sectors

In recent weeks we've fielded questions about the share of jobs held by women in Oregon, particularly in construction and forest-related industries. Since 1991, women have held between 45 percent and 48 percent of all private jobs in Oregon. In construction and forest-related jobs -- both male-dominated industries -- the shares have been lower.

The share of women in construction jobs rose slightly over the past two decades. In the early 1990s, women held between 13 percent and 14 percent of all jobs in the sector. That grew to 19 percent by 2015. Keep in mind that construction, like all industries, includes all types of jobs from management and administrative to jobs with hands-on responsibilities. It seems many of the women working in construction are not out on job sites. Estimates from the American Community Survey show roughly 3 percent of all construction and extraction jobs -- such as carpenters, electricians, roofers and the like -- are held by women.

Women also held 19 percent of all jobs in forest-related industries (see definition here) in 2015, a slight increase from 16 percent in 1991. We are currently working with the Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon Forest Resources Council to update our estimate of forest sector employment in the state, and expect to share more in the coming weeks!

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