This report documents the changing nature of women and work nationally, and in rural and urban areas, concentrating on five big changes: 1) the increase in women's employment; 2) the recent "opting out" phenomenon; 3) the rise in women's earnings and declines in the earnings gap; 4) the rise in the working poor; and 5) the decline in the traditional family structure of a husband-breadwinner with a stay-at-home wife.

January 1, 2008

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    Trends in women's employment in both rural and urban areas.

  2. 2

    The role of education in women's employment, and a comparison between rural and urban areas.

  3. 3

    Factors contributing to the rise in women's employment until 2000, and factors contributing to the decline after 2000.

  4. 4

    An analysis of women "opting out" or leaving the work force.

  1. 5

    Information on women's earnings and the rural-urban earnings gap.

  2. 6

    Policy recommendations to facilitate the disparities in the working world for women.

Key Takeaway

College graduates work more and earn less in rural areas.

In 2006, 70% of married women with children under age 6 in rural areas worked for pay compared with 64% in urban areas.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations