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Picturing Segregation: The Structure of Occupational Segregation by Race, Sex, Ethnicity and Hispanicity

Although researchers have repeatedly documented the effect of workers' sex on their occupational outcomes, we know little about how workers' race, ethnicity, and Hispanicity shape their distribution across detailed occupations. Using the 1990 PUMS data, we examine occupational segregation across 500 detailed occupations on the basis of workers' race, ethnic ancestry, and Hispanic origin, as well as their sex. We begin by computing indices of dissimilarity among all employed workers categorized into 60 groups defined by their sex, Hispanicity, and detailed race and ethnicity. We then analyze these indices with multidimensional scaling to identify the dimensions underlying the structure of occupational segregation by sex, race, ethnicity, and Hispanicity. The MDS results provide graphic depictions of the patterns of occupational segregation among the 60 groups. Finally, we use regression analysis of groups' position on the two underlying dimensions both to discern which broad racial categories play a role in workers' occupational segregation and to interpret the meaning of the dimensions structuring groups' occupational segregation.