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The Great Migration
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National Archives and Records Administration [86-G-9K-1]

New Jobs for Women

Many women who traveled north found that the most readily available work was in domestic service. Over 60 percent of the working women were employed as domestics and laundresses instead of factory workers. Unlike the men, they did not experience the same transformation of their labor. They did, however, seek to control their work situations by favoring day work, which had an end, to live-in service. Domestics often kept migrant families going by providing food and income. With the war, some jobs that had been reserved for men became available to women. Others that had been the traditional domain of white women opened up to African-American female workers.

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