Revisiting Occupational Crowding in the United States: A Preliminary Study

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Feminist Economics

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In her study of occupational segregation in the United States using the 1960 Census, Barbara R. Bergmann found black males with low levels of education more concentrated in low-skill service and laborer occupations than white males and virtually excluded from higher status occupations. Utilizing a crowding index which, similar to Bergmann's, controls for the education level of the worker, this paper presents an analysis of the employment patterns of black males and females in fifty-nine occupations in Wayne County (Detroit, Michigan) and Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) in 1990. Within blue-collar and service employment, males are under-represented in the craft occupations and concentrated in low-skill operative, laborer, and service occupations. Females are under-represented in both craft and operative occupations and concentrated in low-skill service occupations. Within white-collar employment, both males and females are largely excluded from high-skill private sector managerial occupations. Black representation in public sector managerial and private sector professional occupations is better in Detroit than Pittsburgh. The decline in manufacturing employment in both counties has left black males with fewer occupational options and black females over-represented in low status clerical and service occupations.



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