Young Married Women in Australia: Decomposing Changes in Labour Force Participation

Jennifer A. Baxter, Australian National University

In recent decades the increased labour force participation of married women has been one of the most significant changes in the Australian labour market. This analysis focuses on the increased participation of younger married women, those aged 25-29, between 1981 and 2001. Over this period the participation rate of these women increased from 46% to 71%. Within this age group there have been changes in fertility and education, with the characteristics of the 2001 population much more favourable towards employment. The purpose of this analysis is to decompose the difference in rates between 1981 and 2001 into changes due to composition, and change due to differing effects of covariates. Logistic regression is used to model the data at each time, using the population census sample files. By calculating predicted values under different scenarios, these models investigate what role the effect of changes in education and fertility have on employment rates.

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Presented in Session 116: Demography of the Labor Force