There has been a marked increase in the number of women in the labor force generally since 1950, when only 18% of women with children worked outside the home and only 12% of women in the work force had preschool-age children. By 1988 these figures had increased to 66% and 57%, respectively. The fastest-growing segment has been women with children less than 1 year of age. In 1950 only 22% of families had two wage earners, whereas the figure for 1988 was 62%. The reasons for this change include a decrease in the average effective male wage by approximately 25% over the last 15 years and the growing necessity for women in the work force to preserve the middle-class status to which many families have become accustomed.
The types of jobs for women are largely unchanged, with the No. 1 occupation being secretary, followed by elementary school teacher, bookkeeper, cashier,