Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at a Security Council meeting at the United Nations in New York City.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at a Security Council meeting at the United Nations in New York City. - 
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Kai Ryssdal: The Census Bureau did ones of its data dumps this morning. Since the recession started two years ago, fewer people have been getting married; more peopl ehave been moving in with friends or relatives. Food stamps use is up and the wealth gap is wider than ever. So to is the gender gap. The Governmental Accountability Office says while women make up nearly half the Ameican work force, they hold only 40 percent of management-level jobs -- with some notable exceptions.

Marketplace's Adriene Hill reports.

Adriene Hill: Construction and public administration. They're the two industries where the federal government says the percentage of women managers is higher than the percentage of women employees.

If you're paying attention, you're probably thinking -- did she really just say construction? Sure did. But I'm not saying women are dominating the construction industry. There's just a higher percentage of women toting "#1 Boss" mugs around construction sites than women lugging tool chests, because so few women are employed in the industry overall.

Marianne Bertrand: Starting from a very low base. It's not surprising that there are more women being managers.

Marianne Bertrand is an economist at Chicago's Booth School of Business.

The other field where women are more than proportionally represented in the boss's chair is public administration, government work. It's also one of the industries where men and women get paid most evenly.

Andrew Sherrill is with the Government Accountability Office.

Andrew Sherrill: In federal and government positions, there is often more transparency in terms of salaries for different positions.

That helps even the score. Julie Coffman is with the consulting firm Bain. She says at the government level:

Julie Coffman: There's been a real push on diversity and on trying to make sure there are opportunities for advancement for women and less represented groups.

That helps too. Still, female managers in public administration get paid only about 87 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make.

I'm Adriene Hill for Marketplace.

Follow Adriene Hill at @adrienehill