It's well known that more and more women have entered the workforce over the years. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that about 31 percent of adult women were employed in 1948, but that figure, which has dipped in recent years, jumped to 55 percent by 2011. What's less well-known is that the percentage of men who work steadily declined in the same period—from nearly 86 percent in 1948 to 67 percent in 2011. Higher levels of education among women and a
greater acceptance of working mothers have contributed to the growing proportion of women who work over the past 50 years. The declining proportion of men can be attributed to an early-retirement trend.
Workforce Management, July 2012, p. 14