What Happened to Women’s Work Hours in North Carolina During the Pandemic?

Friday, March 11, 2022
Jeff DeBellis

In a previous LEAD Feed article, it was reported that the rate of women’s employment in NC has outpaced that of men. But were they working more? Or did they just move from working full-time to part-time?

Hard-Working North Carolina Women

Top 25 states by number of hours worked by women in 2020

Source: Current Population Survey, BLS

On average, North Carolina women have historically, consistently worked fewer hours per week than men. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey (CPS), NC men averaged 3.8 more hours per week at work than NC women (40.9 vs 37.1 respectively) in 2019. While hours declined for both sexes in 2020, the difference in weekly hours worked remained the same (40.3 hours for men vs 36.5 for women). North Carolina women logged more working hours, on average in 2020, than women in all but eleven other states; and the difference in working hours between men and women also ranked 12th (lowest). Overall, a greater proportion of NC’s employed women worked full-time (typically considered 35 hours or more per week) in 2020 (79.4%) than in 2019 (78.4%) according to the CPS.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has not released similar statistics for 2021 as of this publication.  However, LEAD’s analysis of the underlying CPS microdata for NC reveals a similar story for 2021, with an increase in hours worked compared to 2020.