Women on the rise

A recent report showed that, among all the University of North Carolina campuses in the state, only one — N.C. State University — has a majority of men. On the other campuses, there are now more female students than male students. And N.C. Cooperative Extension economist Mike Walden says the economic implications of this are huge.

“This is probably one of our biggest social changes that we have seen in decades. It has all kinds on economic as well as non-economic implications.

“One obvious economic implication is that the job prospects for women are now much, much better. This is reflected in the fact that the unemployment rate now for women has been lower for several years than for men. Women actually have an easier time getting employed than men do.

“Also the wage gap, or the earnings gap, between women and men has been closing. That’s because the increases in education for women … qualify (them) for higher-paying jobs.

“Also — and this gets into perhaps the non-economic implication also — since there are more women in school and in college, they are taking longer to finish their education. They are taking longer, therefore, to marry, and that has implications for the birth rate.

“And then finally to really extend myself, this has implications for the dating market — big implications for the process of finding a mate now that we have, in fact, in many cases more women in college than men.”

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