Women in the Workforce

The following documents are part of one US government report on changes in women’s employment during World War II published during the war itself. The sections you see are excerpts selected for the understanding of size and scale of women entering the workforce during the war. The full report can be found here.

While reading, think about what factors might cause women to want to enter the workforce.

Cover Page

Cover Page

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1.Which organization published this report?

2. When was it published?

3. Is this report reliable? Why or why not?

Employment of Women in the War Period

Significant Facts

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1. Which occupations had the greatest gain? Why do you think this is?

2. What was the percent increase of women in the workforce from 1941-1944? Is this a significant number?

3. Why do you think there was an increase in the amount of women in the workforce during this time period?

Permanent Labor

Permanent Labor

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1. What was the trend for percentage of women in the workforce before the war?

2. Was World War II the first time women were involved in the workforce?

3. Why is the situation different for women in the workforce in 1944 than the previous years?



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1. Why does the report say women have joined the work force? What do you think “urgent calls for their services” means?

2. Do you think propaganda posters played a role in women joining the workforce? Why or why not?

3. Do you think a significant number of women will leave the workforce after the war? Why or why not?

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