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The Civilian Workforce and Labor Force Participation Rate, by Gender, 1900 to 2000

"Figure 9.2 displays the growth of the labor force and women's share in it. The left-hand graph tracks the absolute numbers...The total doubled between 1900 and 1940, and had doubled again by 1980; women's participation increased twelvefold, from 5 million in 1900 to 65 million in 2000. The right-hand graph shows the proportion of each gender who were working. Men were already participating at about 80 percent in 1900; their rates actually fell as retirement became important."—p. 102, Century of Difference

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