Employment indexes, by sex

Women continue to increase their presence in the labour market

  • Employment has grown much more rapidly among women than among men during the past three decades. From 1976 to 2007, the number of working women rose by 120.5%, compared with a 45.0% gain for men, resulting in an increase in the share of workers who are female. In 2007, almost half of all workers were women (47.3%), compared with just over a third (37.1%) in 1976.

  • From 1976 to 2007, employment increased in all industry sectors except agriculture, and employment grew at a faster pace for women than for men. Over the last five years, the largest employment gains were in the services sector, which benefited women since they are proportionally more numerous in that sector. The industries that enjoyed the most substantial growth in employment for women were finance, insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing; business services, building services and other support services; public administration; and educational services.

  • During the recessions of the 1980s and 1990s, men experienced steeper and more prolonged employment declines than women did. Manufacturing and construction, two sectors in which a large majority of jobs are held by men, were especially hard hit in both recessions.

Chart B.1
Employment indexes, by sex, 1976 to 2007

Chart B.1 Employment indexes, by sex, 1976 to 2007

Note: For a definition of an index, please refer to the glossary.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, CANSIM table 282-0002.

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