Analysis Reveals Changing Workforce Demographics

There are more and more college graduates every year, and every year that pool adds more female and minority members to the workforce.

That much makes sense. Interestingly, however, many Millennials (22- to 34-year-olds) find themselves holding the same jobs after graduation as they might have occupied right out of high school. More than half (51%) of the class of 2014 now hold jobs that do not require a college degree, such as bicycle repairers, hosts and hostesses, cooks and fast food workers, cashiers and even dishwashers.

On the other hand, 8.3 million people joined the age 55 and older work force. This age group increased its share of employment in 99% of occupations, and at least 25% of 210 occupations are held by 55-plus workers. This is more than double the 86 professions that held as many older workers in 2001.

According to Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, “The implications of the aging work force boil down to a simple question: As workers retire will there be enough qualified candidates to fill the vacated jobs?”

Another interesting shift is in the gender and racial representation across the work force. Since 2001, the pool of college graduates has become more diverse, as higher percentages of female and minority students—especially Hispanic Americans—have attained advanced degrees. In 2013, 37% of all associate, bachelor’s and post-grad degree earners were non-white, up from 30% in 2004. Since 2001, Hispanic and Asian workers experienced employment gains in 96% and 90% of occupations, respectively.

Also in 2013, 59% of college graduates were women, bringing the balance of male (51%) and female (49%) workers closer together. However, women are gaining a greater share of just 21% of occupations, while men are moving into 72% of all jobs.

Women continue to move into female-dominated jobs, such as nursing and elementary education, while men move into male-dominated jobs. In 2001 and 2014, the percentage of jobs that were male-dominated increased slightly, from 49% to 52%, while the percentages of female-dominated and gender-balanced jobs both ticked down slightly to 24% each. On average, men also hold more higher-paying jobs than women, largely in STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—positions.

The report from CareerBuilder, “The Changing Face of U.S. Jobs,” examines population shifts in different segments of the work force. The analysis was based on data from Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI). The full report may be downloaded from here.