UND and Women Students: Economy May Play Role as More Seek to Upgrade Skills

Tim Goral's picture

The nation’s weak economy may be playing a role in boosting the number of women enrolled at UND, where the number of women students is getting closer to parity with men students.

For years, men students have been in the majority as enrollment continues to grow. The past six years, the difference between the number of men and women students has been 500 or more. But this year, that difference has narrowed to a little more than 300, or 7,516 men compared to 7,181 women.

This appears to follow national trends where, for the first time in three decades, there are more young women in school than in the workforce, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Both men and women are going back to school, but the growth in enrollment is significantly larger for women. In the last two years, the number of women ages 18 to 24 in school rose by 130,000, compared with a gain of 53,000 for young men.


Many economists initially thought that the shrinking labor force that has driven down recent unemployment rates was caused primarily by discouraged older workers giving up on the job market.


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