Female employment and occupational changes in the 1990s: How is the EU performing relative to the US?
This paper provides a comparison of the incidence and composition of female employment both in the EU and in the US. Despite a significant increase in female labour market participation in the EU, about 50% of the difference between the employment rates in the US and the EU can still be attributed to differences in the educational attainments and the employment rates of women aged 25-54. We highlight the main features of femaleemployment in both areas, paying particular attention to the differences across age cohorts and educational levels. Our main findings are as follows: i) the educational level of the EU female population is slowly converging to that of the US, ii) the employment rates of less educated women are much lower in the EU than in the US (with the exceptions of the Scandinavian countries) even for women aged 25-34, and iii) occupational segregation is lower for the younger highly educated women who seem to be entering more typically male occupations and less typically female occupations, although at a higher rate in the US than in the EU.
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