Albany, where women put their college degrees to work... and don't sit in traffic

If you're a married woman with a college degree in the Capital Region, there's a good chance that you have a job outside the home. In fact, the chances are better here than pretty much any other place in the country.

A trio of researchers recently released a working paper (pdf) that looked at census data related to women and education for the top 50 metro areas (fine print). And according to this study, 80 percent of the women with a college degree in the Capital region were in the workforce. That ranked first among the 50 studied metro areas. The region ranked almost as high for women with a high school degree -- it was 5th.

A comparison with other cities over time -- and a little bit about why things shake out this way -- after the jump.

Here's how Albany compares over time with a few other cities for "labor market participation" rates among married women with high school degrees.

working women comparison

source: Black, Kolesnikova, Taylor

OK, but why the variation? The researchers say that traffic seems to be an imporant factor -- the worse the traffic, the fewer women who work outside the home. And while it's not necessarily a measure of traffic exactly, the Albany area has one of the shortest average commutes in the entire country at 19 minutes.


fine print: This study only looked at white non-hispanic women -- the researchers say the sample sizes weren't big enough to include other ethnic groups. Also the study doesn't include data from 1960 because the researchers couldn't get a hold of it.

(via Marginal Revolution)

Comments

"And at 80 percent, the Albany area had the highest percentage of women with a college degree in the workforce."

I haven't had a chance to dig through the report, but its unclear what this statement means. Is it saying:

A. Of all the women with a college degree in the Albany area, 80% of them are in the workforce.

or

B. Of all the people in the workforce 80% of them are women with a college degree.

I'm thinking its A because the percentage of people with a college degree in Schenectady, Saratoga, and Albany counties is below 20%.

I'm not sure why they would decide that a long commute would keep women at home. Perhaps it has more to do with the cost of living and pay scale in each area. Higher paying jobs or lower cost of living would allow one spouse to stay home.

If your going to talk about Albany's labor pool I find it far more logical to assume that any uniqueness probably has more to do with the civil service system and the region's largest employer than anything else.

and jon.. its obviously A., but B would be frickin awesome. Think about it. It be cause either:

A) The CD has four times as many ladies as dudes (I like those odds in the bar)

or

B) Most men in the CD don't have to work because they are supported by an elite class of highly educated gainfully employed women (sugarmamas!)

I considered a C) of huge droves of homeless men rambling about, but Townsend park just isn't big enough to support that.

@Jon: Yep, that's a bad sentence. What we were trying to say is that of the women with a college degree in the Capital Region, 80 percent of them are in the workforce. We've changed the sentence to clear things up. Thanks for pointing it out.

And that's a good point about the traffic. The researchers found correlations, but that doesn't necessarily mean causation. It would seem very possible that traffic is an indicator of some other factor that might actually be prompting the differences.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Today's moment of summer

Even the tiny wild daisies seemed less than convinced of this recent stretch of summer.... (more)

Who lived in the neighborhood knocked down for the Empire State Plaza?

Testifying before the Senate on September 25, 1974, former New York State Governor and then-vice presidential nominee Nelson A. Rockefeller made at least two demonstrably... (more)

New York closer to $15/hour for fast food workers?

At its last scheduled public meeting Monday the state's Fast Food Wage Board didn't recommend a specific increase in the minimum wage for fast food... (more)

Latham Sonic now open

The new Sonic in Latham opens today, location announced on its Facebook page. It's on Route 7 at Wade Road (map). Hours are 10 am... (more)

Morning Blend

Dannemora manhunt State Police say David Sweat was shot and captured Sunday in Constable, a town just south of the Canadian border. NYSP superintendent Joseph... (more)

Recent Comments

But where else would it go? We need a roadway connecting those areas somewhere or else downtown businesses are doomed. Whats' the alternative, demolishing downtown to put a highway there? I don't think so. 787 is here to stay. I think we need to look at lower hanging fruit solutions and make the best of what we have. ...

Four takeaways from the kickoff for the study about the future of I-787

...has 9 comments, most recently from Laura Brodsky

Latham Sonic now open

...has 4 comments, most recently from KB @ Home-Baked Happiness

New York closer to $15/hour for fast food workers?

...has 7 comments, most recently from KB @ Home-Baked Happiness

Who lived in the neighborhood knocked down for the Empire State Plaza?

...has 2 comments, most recently from Barb Battibulli (nee O'Brien)

Rail, River, Hudson II

...has 4 comments, most recently from ingrid