Do US employers discriminate against females when hiring their employees?
Using Johnson's decomposition technique, this paper demonstrates that the disappearance of the gap between female and male unemployment rates in the United States during the last decade results partly from a general hiring policy that is favourable to women workers. This conclusion holds for workers in five out of eight occupational subsamples considered. The sign and size of unexplained female - male unemployment rate differential estimated from 1969, 1977 and 1987 CPS data suggest that hiring discrimination against females in the US labour market has declined considerably during the last two decades. The study also supports the earlier finding that the growth of employment in government and in the female dominated service sector, and migration of workers from the South to other regions contribute significantly to the convergence of male and female unemployment rates in the 1980s.