Women's future employment not affected by time at home, Australian study says
A period spent outside the workforce should not affect a woman's likelihood of working again, according to a report published by the Australian Productivity Commission.Lixin Cai's “Work Choices of Married Women: drivers of change”, released th
Fri, 22 Jan 2010
A period spent outside the workforce should not affect a woman’s likelihood of working again, according to a report published by the Australian Productivity Commission.
Lixin Cai’s “Work Choices of Married Women: drivers of change”, released this week, showed that the common labour force trend of “state dependence” did not apply to married Australian women.
“State dependence” refers to a situation in which a person’s employment status depends on his or her past employment status. Thus, often, if someone is employed today he or she has good prospects of being employed in the future. Equally he or she has good prospects of being unemployed in the future if currently unemployed.
But according to Ms Cai’s research, “a period out of the labour market – for example, to care for a young child – does not in itself affect later labour force participation.”
Whether women worked again after taking a break from the workforce was down to individual personality and factors such as ongoing quality of health, she found.
The research paper was prepared as part of the commission’s series of studies designed to find out how to raise productivity as the population ages and a large chunk of the workforce retires.
“One-size-fits-all policies aimed at increasing labour supply of all married women may be less effective than tailored policies that take account of individual characteristics and circumstances,” she said.
The Council of the Australian Government has identified women, people on welfare and the “mature aged” as groups among which the rate of employment is low, and therefore from which greater workforce participation could be coaxed.
Fri, 22 Jan 2010
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