bypass all navigation Women, Minorities & Persons with Disabilities Home Page HTML Contents Page PDF Contents Page Help Page Comments Page Print Format Page
Women, Minorities and Persons wiht Disabilities
in Science and Engineering: 2002
Introduction Chapter 2: Undergraduate Enrollment Chapter 3: Undergraduate Degrees Chapter 4: Graduate Enrollment Chapter 5: Graduate Degrees Chapter 6: Employment Technical Notes Appendix Tables
Chapter Contents:
Overview
Trends in S&E employment, 1993-99
Labor force participation, employment, and unemployment
Occupations of scientists and engineers
Sector of employment
Nondoctoral scientists and engineers
Professional development activities
Salaries of employed scientists and engineers
Initial labor force experiences of recent graduates
A demographic profile: Age and family characteristics
References
 
Sidebars
Appendix Tables
List of Figures
Presentation Slides

Employment

Labor force participation, employment, and unemployment

Women
Minorities
Persons with disabilities

Women  top of page

Women with either an S&E degree or in an S&E occupation are less likely than men to be in the labor force (that is, either employed or seeking employment). Among those in the labor force, women are more likely than men to be unemployed:[5] 2.0 percent of women and 1.6 percent of men were unemployed in 1999. (See text table 6-1 text table.) Women's unemployment rates were higher than those for men within most major age groupings. (See appendix table 6-4.)

Reasons for not working (whether not in the labor force or unemployed) differ in some respects by sex. Women were more likely than men to cite family responsibilities (36 versus 3 percent), and men were more likely than women to cite retirement (74 versus 29 percent). (See appendix table 6-5.) These differences reflect variations in the age distributions of men and women as well as differing expectations as to who assumes family responsibilities.[6]

A higher percentage of women than of men with either an S&E degree or in an S&E occupation are employed part time. Of those who were employed in 1999, 19 percent of women and 6 percent of men were employed part time. (See appendix table 6-4.) Women who are employed part time are less likely than men to prefer full-time employment. (See appendix table 6-6.) Also, women who are employed part time are far more likely than men to cite family responsibilities as the reason for their employment status: 48 percent of the women working part time and 12 percent of the men cited family responsibilities as the reason for their work status in 1999. On the other hand, 41 percent of men and 8 percent of women cited retirement as the reason for part-time employment. Thus, as with unemployment, variations in male/female age distribution, as well as varying family responsibilities, are factors in part-time employment choices.

Minorities  top of page

Asians, blacks, and Hispanics with either an S&E degree or in an S&E occupation are more likely than whites to be in the labor force (i.e., employed or looking for employment). Between 89 and 90 percent of Asians, blacks, and Hispanics with either an S&E degree or in an S&E occupation were in the labor force in 1999, compared with 85 percent of whites. (See text table 6-1 text table.)

Although nonwhite scientists and engineers are less likely to be out of the labor force than whites, among those who are in the labor force, nonwhite scientists and engineers from some racial/ethnic groups are more likely to be unemployed. In 1999, the unemployment rate of white scientists and engineers was lower than that of Hispanics and Asians. (See text table 6-1 text table.)

Age accounts for some of these differences in labor force participation. Asian, black, Hispanic, and American Indian scientists and engineers are younger than white scientists and engineers: 37 percent of white scientists and engineers were 50 or older in 1999, compared with 26 percent of Asians, 32 percent of blacks, and 21 percent of Hispanics.

Persons with disabilities  top of page

The labor force participation rates of scientists and engineers with and without disabilities are quite different. Thirty percent of persons with disabilities in the population of scientists and engineers were out of the labor force, compared with 13 percent of those without disabilities. (See text table 6-1 text table.) Age accounts for some, but not all, of these differences in labor force participation. Those with disabilities are older than those without: 64 percent of those with disabilities were 50 or older in 1999, compared with 33 percent of those without disabilities. Older scientists and engineers are likely to be out of the labor force because of retirement. (See appendix table 6-4.)

Chronic illness or permanent disability can be another factor accounting for some of the tendency for persons with disabilities to be out of the labor force.[7] Both persons with and without disabilities cited retirement as their primary reason for not working (70 and 51 percent, respectively); 26 percent of people with disabilities and 3 percent of those without cited the category "chronic illness or permanent disability" as their reason. (See appendix table 6-5.)

Among those in the labor force, persons with disabilities are more likely than those without to be unemployed. The 1999 unemployment rate for scientists and engineers with disabilities was 3.5 percent, compared with 1.6 percent for those without disabilities. (See text table 6-1 text table.)




Footnotes

[5]  The unemployment rate is the ratio of those who are not employed and seeking employment to the total labor force. Those who are not in the labor force are excluded from the denominator.

[6]  See NSF (1996), p. 66, for a discussion of the relationship between unemployment and part-time employment and the presence of children under the age of 18.

[7]  Age at onset of disability is another important consideration. About half of all scientists and engineers with disabilities became disabled after age 30. Those who were disabled since birth may face different challenges entering the labor force or advancing in their careers than those who became disabled later in life. More research is needed on this topic (NSF/SRS 2000).

Previous Section  Top of Section Next Section
home  |   help  |   comments
introduction  |   1  |   2  |   3  |   4  |   5  |   6  |   technical notes  |   appendix tables