The Changing Face of US Jobs

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Since 2001, the United States has experienced major demographic and economic changes, and consequently the workplace reflects those differences. CareerBuilder released a report that tracked the changing composition of jobs by age, gender, and race from 2001-2014. The following is the report’s key demographic findings.  

Key Findings By Age

The most dramatic workforce demographic shift was in age, with the teenage workforce 33 percent smaller in 2001 and the age 55 and older workforce 40 percent larger. Jobs for workers age 22-34 grew only four percent, while jobs for workers age 35-54 shrunk one percent. The future, however, holds potential good news for those ages 22-55. As workers age 55 and older retire, many high and middle-skill jobs may open up in the next decade. This will also require companies make sure that there are enough candidates who are qualified to take on these vacated positions.

As millennials struggle to find professional occupations, they’re often turning to jobs that were previously held by teenage workers like cashiers, fast food cooks, and dishwashers. This means that teen workers have a more difficult time getting those jobs that were once after-school or summertime guarantees. Teens lost shares of employment as host/hostesses (32 percent of all jobs in 2014, down from 45 percent in 2001), in food prep/serving (14 percent, down from 23 percent), ushers/ticket takers (12 percent, down from 23 percent).

Key Findings By Gender

Women made up a greater share of the workforce in 2014 than they did in 2001. In 2014, 49 percent of jobs were held by women, compared to 48 percent in 2001. That amounts to 4.9 million more female workers since 2001.

However, even if women make up a greater share of the workforce, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are experiencing growth in variety of jobs or high-paying jobs. Men are performing a wider variety of work, gaining a share of employment in 72 percent of all occupations (including gains in female-majority jobs like pharmacists and physical therapists). Women only gained a greater share of employment in 21 percent of occupations, some being male-majority ones like landscape architects and agricultural managers. Compared to 2001, in 2014 women have lost ground in 48 out of the 50 highest paying jobs, including: surgeons, chief executives, and software developers. They did gain share among lawyers and political scientists.

This difference may have something to do with the fact that more job losses have been in typically male majority fields. As jobs went away in these fields, male workers had to find work in a broader array of occupations.

5.6 million more women than men graduated from college from 2004-2013, but not with degrees in the top-paying fields. Men continue to lead in the programs that lead to the highest-paying jobs, such as computer science (83 percent of 2013 grads) and engineering (79 percent).

Key Findings By Race

​Since the U.S. population is more racially and ethnically diverse than in 2001, so is the workforce. Hispanics/Latinos held 13 percent of jobs, up from 11 percent in 2001. Asian workers also experienced some growth, holding five percent of jobs in 2014, compared to four percent in 2001. White workers lost a share of total employment, dropping from 71 percent to 69 percent from 2001 to 2014. The share of black/African-American workers stayed the same from 2001 to 2014, at 12 percent. Hispanic/Latino workers, Asian workers, and Black/African American workers all experienced major growth in the diversity of their occupations.

College graduating classes are also becoming more racially diverse. Non-white students made up 37 percent of all associate, bachelors, and post-grad graduates in 2013, up from 30 percent in 2004.


An increasingly diverse and changing population is affecting the composition of the nation’s workforce. It is to companies and organizations’ advantage to pay attention to these shifts. “A diverse organization is more innovative, more inclusive, and better positioned to capitalize on an ever-changing consumer marketplace,” said Alex Green, general counsel of CareerBuilder.

The CareerBuilder report, “The Changing Face of U.S. Jobs,” pulled data from more than 90 government and private sector resources. It explored changes in nearly 800 occupations by age, gender, and race/ethnicity.

2 thoughts on “The Changing Face of US Jobs

  1. They report this as if it were a natural trend in employment, rather than an intentional effort on the part of corporations and lawmakers.

    Corporations hire firms who specialize is letting them circumvent employment laws so they can import foreigners for any jobs they have available.

    I think we should turn all of these foreign workers into slaves to help rebuild our economy and infrastructure.

    You came here for work? Great. There’s a lot of work to be done. Hope you don’t mind this steel ball being chained to your ankle.

    1. RE: “I think we should turn all of these foreign workers into slaves to help rebuild our economy and infrastructure.”

      I couldn’t agree more JR!

      In an 8-unit apartment building that I live in, the newest tenants came straight from China and France to rent two of those apartments. Are they working? Absolutely! It’s called an H1B Visa. Meanwhile my daughter is displaced and struggling to get back on her feet after being unemployed and searching for work for 2 1/2 years.
      . . .

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