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Chapter 8

Employment Levels and Trends

Dramatic changes have occurred in the composition of the U.S. labor force during the last half of the 20th century. These changes are attributable in large part to demographic changes stemming from immigration and from birth rates that differ among racial/ethnic subgroups in the United States. They also reflect changing cultural attitudes towards groups traditionally at a disadvantage in the labor market and enactment of laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The result has been a workforce in which women, racial/ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities play an increasingly important role.
Not surprisingly, the trends that have led to changes in the U.S. workforce have also affected the science and engineering (S&E) workforce in this country. This chapter documents the growing diversity of the S&E workforce and examines the extent to which there are differences between men and women, between whites and racial/ethnic minorities, and between those with and without disabilities in terms of available indicators of equity.
Organization of the Chapter
Sidebar: Note on Data Sources on the S&E Labor Force
Sidebar: Measuring Disabilities for Persons in the Labor Force

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