EEOC Releases New Data on Private Industry Job Patterns

Participation rates of women, minorities continue to climb

By Roy Maurer Mar 4, 2010
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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released extensive new data on job patterns in the private sector, containing comprehensive labor force profiles of race, gender and ethnicity divided by categories such as job title, occupation and locale.

The EEOC report, Job Patterns for Minorities and Women in Private Industry, commonly known as the EEO-1 survey, was posted Feb. 5, 2010, on

As part of its mandate under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the EEOC requires periodic reports from public and private employers, unions and labor organizations that indicate the composition of their workforces by sex and by race and ethnic category. Key among these reports is the EEO-1 form, which is collected annually from private employers with 100 or more employees and employers with federal government contracts of $50,000 or more and 50 or more employees. In 2008, over 68,300 employers with more than 62.2 million employees filed EEO-1 forms.

Of the total private-sector employees nationwide covered by the 2008 survey, 48 percent were women and 34 percent were minorities.

The 2008 EEO-1 survey and historical data revealed a number of changes for women:

  • Women’s overall participation rate in the private sector jumped from 31 percent to 48 percent between 1966 and 2008.
  • Women exceed their total representation as professionals, sales workers, office and clerical workers, and service workers. However, women fall below their representation level as executives and managers, craft workers, operatives and laborers.
  • The highest percentages of women are employed in the health care, educational and retail industries.

Minority representation improved over the same period in certain areas:

  • The rate of minority employment tripled between 1966 and 2008 from 11 percent to 34 percent.
  • The employment rate for blacks increased steadily from 8 percent in 1966 to 14 percent in 2008, the largest share of minority EEO-1 employment.
  • Blacks exceed their total representation as office and clerical workers, operatives, laborers and service workers. Yet they too fall below their total representation in key positions such as executives and managers, professionals, technicians, sales workers and craft workers.
  • The highest percentages of blacks are employed in the public administration, transportation and warehousing, and health care and social assistance fields.

Hispanics had the fastest growth rate in the private sector, increasing from 2.5 percent to over 13 percent between 1966 and 2008. And though Hispanics exceed their total representation as craft workers, operatives, laborers and service workers, they fall below their total representation as executives and managers, professionals, technicians, sales workers, and office and clerical workers.

The highest percentages of Hispanics are employed in the agriculture, construction, and accommodation and food service industries.

Asians represent 5 percent of EEO-1 employment. Asians exceed their total representation as professionals and technicians and fall below their total representation in all other job categories, including executives and managers. The highest percentages of Asians are employed in the finance, scientific and technical fields.

“The EEO statistics are not surprising,” said John Fuller, Ed.D., a diversity and equal employment opportunity consultant in Fairfax, Va.

The former director of workforce diversity for The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Fuller told SHRM Online that the upward trend in women’s and minorities’ participation rates in the labor force will continue because of “tremendous emphasis on affirmative action plans, good-faith recruiting efforts, advertising and mentoring programs with leadership in corporations, nonprofits and academia.

“Diversity professionals throughout the country are driving multiple tailored and best-practice initiatives that have lasting effects upon the workplace environment. Diversity is now a state of being,” he said.

In addition to information on race, gender, ethnicity and job categories, the EEO-1 survey includes data on the size, location and industry of employer establishments.

Additional EEO-1 data and information, including html tables and historical data, can be found on the EEOC’s web site at

Roy Maurer is a staff writer for SHRM.

Related Articles:

EEOC Stepping Up Efforts to Eliminate Systemic Discrimination, SHRM Online Employee Relations Discipline, Jan. 22, 2010.

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