Knowledge Center

Labor Force

  • In 2012:
    • Number of African American women in the labor force: 9,805,0001
    • Percentage of labor force: 6.3%2
    • Percentage of African American women who participated in the labor force: 59.8%3
    • Number of African American women employed in management, professional, and related occupations: 2,938,000 (5.4% of all people employed in management, professional, and related occupations)4
  • In 2000:
    • Number of African American women in the labor force: 8,695,0005
    • Percentage of labor force: 6.1%6
  • Projections for 2020:
    • Number of African American women in the labor force: 10,283,0007
    • Percentage of labor force: 6.3%8
    • Increase of African American women in the labor force between 2000 and 2020: 18.3%9
  • Women of color held 3.2% of board seats in the Fortune 500 in 2013, down from 3.3% in 2012 but up from 3.0% in 2011.10
  • In 2013 black women held 10.9% of all women directorships (down from 11.4% in 2012) .11

Educational Achievement

  African American Women African American Men
Bachelor’s degrees in 2008-200912 103,142 (6.4% of those getting BA’s) 53,473 (3.3% of those getting BA’s)
Master’s degrees in 2008-200913 50,292 (7.7% of those getting MA’s) 19,718 (3.0% of those getting MA’s)
Doctoral degrees in 2008-200914 2,950 (4.4% of those getting PhDs) 1,484 (2.2%  of those getting PhDs)

 

Income

  • Among full-time wage and salary workers in 2012, African American women’s median weekly earnings were $599, compared to $665 for African-American men.15

 

 

Buying Power

  • African Americans’ buying power has increased from $316.3 billion in 1990 to $946.6 billion in 2010 to 1.0 trillion in 2012 and is projected to climb to $1.3 trillion in 2017.16
  • The percentage change in African Americans’ buying power between 1990 and 2017 is 313.1%, higher than the 226.3% growth rate for whites, but lower than other race/ethnic groups.17
  • African Americans’ share of the consumer market was 8.5% in 2010, but will rise to 8.7% in 2017.18

How to cite this product: Catalyst. Quick Take: African American Women. New York: Catalyst, December 10, 2013.