SOC271 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Opportunity Cost, Money Management

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Women and Work
Paid employment is traditionally a man’s world, whereas the household was considered
women's domain.
a new entity has emerged: an egalitarian, two-paycheck or dual/income couple
both husband and wife work full-time in the labour force and each contributes equally to the
work that needs to be done in the house, including care of children.
Working Females: Census Highlights
For the first time in Canada’s history, more than one-half of all women age 15 years and over
were in the labour force in 1981, either in a job or actively seeking one (51.8%).
1951 24.1%
1961 29.7%
1971 39.9%
1981 52.0%
1986 55.4%
1991 59.9%
1996 57.6%
Labour Force Participation of Women
Working wives has meant a change in the family structure - with each member playing a part
different from that in the past - it is not just her activities and expectations that change.
Males are expected to enter the labour force and stay in it employ-ed or unemployed until
retirement.
For women -- employment is more ambiguous -- decision is not uni-lateral, it is much more
complex, if married, because the whole household (all family members) is involved/affected.
As well, there is an element of choice. Women can choose to work or not to work outside the
home.
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If middle-class women entertained thoughts of job or career of their own, it was more often
regarded as a choice, not a necessity.
if poor -- participation in labour force likely a necessity
only recently have some women begun to plan a career in the same way men traditionally
have. This decision may be blocked by economic, social, or familial pressures … . and further -
the family is likely to be the decision-making unit - not the woman.
Is this changing?
OF ALL WOMEN IN THE LABOUR FORCE 15 YEARS
OF AGE AND OVER
1931 10% were married
1941 13% were married
1951 30% were married
1961 47% were married
1971 59% were married
1976 62% were married
1981 63% were married
1986 64% were married
1991 63% were married
1996 62% were married
World War Two was the decisive turning point for women.
Labour Force Participation rates by Marital Status,
Canada: 1951, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991 and 1996
Females
1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 1996
Total 24.1 29.7 39.9 52.1 59.9 57.6
Single 58.4 54.9 53.5 64.4 66.4 63.6
Married 11.2 22.1 37.0 52.0 63.2 61.6
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Widowed/
Divorced 19.3 23.1 26.6 29.2 35.4 n/a
Separated/
Divorced n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 64.7
Widowed n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 11.4
(base population is population 15 years and over)
Labour Force Participation rates by Marital Status,
Canada: 1951, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991 and 1996
Males
1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 1996
Total 84.0 78.1 76.4 78.5 76.4 72.4
Single 76.6 63.5 63.5 71.6 72.9 69.7
Married 90.0 86.9 84.4 83.5 79.6 75.5
Widowed/
Divorced 46.9 39.2 46.8 54.0 57.3 n/a
Separated/
Divorced n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 73.0
Widowed n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 17.6
(base population is population 15 years and over)
The participation rate of men has remained relatively stable, resulting in a convergence
between rates of men and women between 1981 and 1996.
Between 1981 and 1986, there was a 21% growth in the labour force for women with children
at home. The growth was +25% for women with children under age six.
There was a marked increase in the participation rate of married women living with their
employed spouse whose children were all under six years of age. Their participation rate
increased from 49.4% in 1981 to 69.9% in 1996, and then 68% in 2012.
A substantial minority of husbands and wives believe there should be only one breadwinner in
a marriage - - wives, 25% and husbands, 34%
for the first time in history, the 1981 census indicated that in Canada, over 50% of the females
aged 15 years and over were participating in the labour force (have a job or are seeking work)
many people continue to cherish the traditional family model -- in particular, husbands.
approximately 30% of married couples feel that both partners should work -- each person feels
a strong responsibility for the financial support of the household.
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