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The ‘Ins and Outs’ of Work – Diversity or Homogeneity in New Zealand Women’s Employment Patterns?




New Zealand has experienced sustained increases in women’s labour force participation since the post-war period. The Census of Population and Dwellings and the Household Labour Force Survey provide aggregate-level insights into labour force behaviour, relying on the compilation of cross-sectional data to provide indicators of long-term trends to women’s employment. What these data sources do not offer are clear pictures of the sequencing of women’s employment across the life course, in terms of periods in and out of work. These patterns have however been identified as key factors influencing women’s capacity to save and the persistence of gendered occupational status and earnings disparities. When observed across time, work patterns also provide insights to the changing overall lifetime attachment of women to the labour market. Using data from the 1995 sample survey New Zealand Women: Family, Employment, Education, we present descriptive findings on the work patterns of women born between 1936 and 1965, and use graphical techniques to depict these patterns in terms of spells in and out of work. A cohort perspective is taken. We then proceed to summarise the details of these individual work histories using summary measures which can then be co-related with potential explanatory factors.

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  • Sarah Hillcoat-Nallétamby & Sandra Baxendine, 2005. "The ‘Ins and Outs’ of Work – Diversity or Homogeneity in New Zealand Women’s Employment Patterns?," Population Studies Centre Discussion Papers dp-49, University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:wai:pscdps:dp-49

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2005. "A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Effect of Immigration on Wages," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 451-477, July.
    2. Jacques Poot, 2005. "Measuring the Economic Impact of Immigration: A Scoping Paper," Population Studies Centre Discussion Papers dp-48, University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre.
    3. Sarah Hillcoat-Nallétamby & A. Dharmalingam, 2004. "Solidarity across generations in New Zealand: factors influencing parental support for children within a three-generational context," Population Studies Centre Discussion Papers dp-46, University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre.
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    More about this item


    New Zealand; Work Spells; Women’s Employment Patterns;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion


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