In what the Wall Street Journal says could be a sign of the "future of the American workforce," Labor Department data released Friday revealed who's taken hold of the most jobs in the US—and it's the ladies. Not counting the self-employed and farmworkers, women held 50.04% of all jobs in December, with 109,000 more women on payrolls than men. Of the 145,000 jobs added last month, women nabbed 139,000 of them, per Labor Department stats. The Washington Post notes it's only the second time women have outnumbered the guys: The last time women took the majority like this was during a 10-month stretch between June 2009 and April 2010, right after the Great Recession, when men had trouble keeping jobs in typically male-dominated industries such as construction and manufacturing.
Women are also more likely than men to hold more than one job. "The sectors that are growing, like education and health care, are predominantly women's employment," a spokeswoman for the Institute for Women's Policy Research tells the Journal. "Looking at the 21st century, it is really amazing how profound some of the [sex] segregation is in the labor market." Economists also note that the gender gap in the workforce has been narrowing as women have started to get college degrees in larger numbers than men. Still, some experts point out that the number of working-age women in the US holding down jobs lags behind other peer nations, per Markets Insider. "There are a lot of factors ... but research has pointed to our relatively weak family-friendly policies ... as a major one," one economist says. (Read more women stories.)