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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

economy

Statewide Overview Women in the Workforce

Statewide Snapshot | Printable Statewide Snapshot (PDF)

Women play a critical role in the Texas economy. Their earnings represent an increasingly significant portion of household income, directly affecting the economic security of families, communities and the state as a whole. Women hold nearly half of the state’s 12.4 million jobs and create more jobs through their entrepreneurial efforts (Exhibit 1).

Quick Facts on Texas Women

  • In 2017, Texas had an estimated 14.2 million female residents, accounting for 50.4 percent of the state population.
  • About 5.7 million of these women were in the prime working ages of 25 to 54; these working-aged women made up 40.1 percent of Texas’ female population and 20.2 percent of the entire state population.
  • According to a U.S. Census Bureau estimate, 57.7 percent of Texas women 16 years old or older were either employed or looking for work in the period of 2012 through 2016.
  • In 2017, 51.3 percent of Texans with a bachelor’s degree or higher were women.

Exhibit 1: Female Share of Jobs by Industry Sector, 2017
Description NAICS Code* 2017 Direct Jobs Number of Employed Women Women’s Share of Jobs
Natural Resources and Mining 11-21 292,301 65,452 22%
Construction 23 725,910 135,808 19%
Manufacturing 31-33 842,513 228,750 27%
Trade, Transportation and Utilities 22, 42, 44-45, 48-49 2,433,195 984,953 40%
Information 51 202,134 75,033 37%
Financial Activities 52-53 740,250 415,720 56%
Professional and Business Services 54, 55, 56 1,647,002 733,326 45%
Education and Health Services 61-62 1,642,459 1,262,283 77%
Leisure and Hospitality 71-72 1,302,618 670,167 51%
Other Services (except Public Administration) 81 482,386 243,937 51%
Government 90 2,126,331 1,180,615 56%
Unclassified Industry 99 10,434 5,315 51%
Texas 12,447,535 6,001,359 48%

*The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the federal system used to classify business establishments for statistical purposes.

Source: Emsi.

Occupations Dominated by Women

Exhibit 2 lists the major occupational categories with the highest shares of female employment in Texas.1 The top three of these categories are among the lowest-paid of all 23 major categories defined by the federal government’s Standard Occupational Classification system. 

Exhibit 2: Women-Dominated Occupations in Texas
Occupation 2017 Jobs Avg. Hourly Earnings*  Number of Employed Women Women's Share of Jobs
Healthcare Support  327,070 $13.85 279,947 85.6%
Personal Care and Service  462,497 $10.64 354,505 76.7%
Office and Administrative Support  2,104,088 $17.50 1,550,032 73.7%
Education, Training and Library  749,588 $23.66 550,690 73.5%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations 656,877 $36.25 480,916 73.2%

*Based on total jobs for each occupation, including both genders.

Source: Emsi

By contrast, Texas women fill much smaller shares of jobs within higher-paying fields, such as computer and mathematical occupations (26.0 percent) and architecture and engineering (14.9 percent), groups paying average hourly earnings of $41.59 and $44.52, respectively. 

Even within higher-paying occupations, such as healthcare practitioners and technical positions, the share of women employed in the highest-paying jobs is significantly smaller than that of men. For instance, although women account for nearly three-quarters of all Texas employees in the healthcare practitioners and technical occupations group (73.2 percent), they represent much smaller shares of the category’s highest-paying occupations, including physicians and surgeons (27.8 percent), dentists (25.1 percent) and podiatrists (23.0 percent), which pay average hourly wages of $98.96, $86.05 and $79.82, respectively.

Leadership in the Workforce

In 2017, U.S. women held 36.5 percent of jobs in managerial occupations. Within those occupations, women held 27.8 percent of top-level executive positions; just 23 percent of women were chief executives (Exhibit 3).

Exhibit 3: Women in Management Occupations, 2017
Description SOC Code 2017 Direct Jobs Avg. Hourly Earnings*  Number of Employed Women Women's Share of Jobs
Management Occupations 11-0000 478,149 $59.47 174,546 36.5%
Top Executives 11-1000 182,229 $65.20 50,742 27.8%
Chief Executives 11-1010 6,946 $105.23 1,569 22.6%
General and Operations Managers 11-1020 173,541 $64.04 48,639 28.0%
Legislators 11-1030 1,742 $21.25 535 30.7%

Note: ‘Legislators’ includes only elected positions.
*Based on total jobs for each occupation, including both genders.

Source: Emsi


Female chief executives are even less represented at large, profitable, publicly traded companies.

Women-Owned Businesses

According to estimates from American Express, Texas was home to 938,800 women-owned businesses in 2017, the third-highest number among states, behind California (1,551,000) and Florida (1,041,600) — perhaps unsurprising, given that these are the three most-populous states. When we examine women-owned businesses per population, however, Texas ranks seventh among the 10 most populous states (Exhibit 4).

Exhibit 3: Women-Owned Businesses per 1,000 Residents, 10 Largest States, 2017
State 2017 Population (U.S. Census Estimates) Number of Women-Owned Businesses Number of Women-Owned Businesses per 1,000 Population
Florida 20,984,400 1,041,600 49.6
Georgia 10,429,379 502,300 48.2
Michigan 9,962,311 430,100 43.2
New York 19,849,399 788,200 39.7
California 39,536,653 1,551,000 39.2
Illinois 12,802,023 458,500 35.8
Texas 28,304,596 938,800 33.2
North Carolina 10,273,419 333,100 32.4
Ohio 11,658,609 341,000 29.2
Pennsylvania 12,805,537 337,600 26.4

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and American Express OPEN


In 2017, Texas’ women-owned businesses employed 808,200 and generated about $134.2 million in sales. The American Express study indicates that Dallas (#7, 276,200 businesses) and Houston (#8, 248,700 businesses) ranked among the top 10 U.S. metropolitan areas in their number of women-owned firms.

The number of women-owned businesses in Texas rose by 146.1 percent from 1997 to 2017, compared to 114.1 percent growth at the national level.  Yet women continue to face barriers to ownership, including a lack of access to capital.2 The National Women’s Business Council found that women start their businesses with an average of $75,000 in capital — about half as much as that available to male business owners ($135,000).3

Conclusion

In 2017, more than 6 million women worked in industries supporting the state economy. In addition, the number of businesses owned by women in Texas has risen by 146 percent over the last 20 years, outpacing growth at the national level. A financially secure Texas depends on financially successful women.


End Notes

Links are correct at the time of publication. The Comptoller's office is not responsible for external websites.

  1. Federal agencies use the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system to classify occupations into 459 broad occupations (detailed), 98 minor groups and 23 major groups (aggregated).
  2. American Express OPEN, The 2017 State of Women-Owned Businesses: Summary Tables (PDF).
  3. National Women’s Business Council, “The Latest Report from the National Women’s Business Council on Women Business Owners’ Access to Capital,”.

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