By Erin Delmore
You’ve heard of blue-collar jobs and white-collar. Now: pink-collar. Those are the jobs that employ a majority of women and they’re the fastest growing fields. But despite rising unemployment, men don’t want them.
“A lot of the jobs that we’ve seen declining over the past decades have been traditionally male jobs — manufacturing for example — and the jobs that are growing are jobs that are traditionally female jobs. If you think about home health aides and nurses, child care workers, waitresses, many of these jobs are growing because these are jobs that you cannot outsource. You need your home health care worker with you in your home taking care of you,” said Mary Gatta, associate professor of sociology at CUNY.
Here are the 15 fastest-growing jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Almost all of which employ a mostly female workforce. Two-thirds of those jobs are in the health care sector.
“Nursing has always sort of been earmarked as the caring, nurturing profession. And so when you think of caring, nurturing, you think of women,” said Hispanic Nurses Association New Jersey Chapter President Gina Miranda-Diaz.
Miranda-Diaz has taught incoming nurses and she’s done research on recruiting new health care workers.
“To become a nurse, it takes a lot of schooling — math, sciences. Some men may not want to devote or dedicate three or four years to become a nurse,” Miranda-Diaz said.
Pink-collar jobs have a few things in common: lots of training required, high job security and opportunity for growth, but low starting salaries.
“They tend to not come with strong benefits packages, health care, retirement savings, paid sick days, paid time off. And they tend to not have in-depth internal career ladders that other traditionally male jobs have had,” Gatta said.
On the campaign trail, Donald Trump’s message of bringing jobs back to the U.S. resonated with voters. On Election Day, he was stronger in parts of the country where the economy is weaker, and while the unemployed didn’t vote as a block, Trump virtually swept among counties where more than 50 percent of the jobs are routine, like manufacturing or administrative work.
Our experts say there’s an opportunity to destigmatize pink-collar jobs at the start when recruiting. Talk about the skills and the work and the value of the work. In short, talk about what the job is, not who does it.