This research focused on Canadian mothers who had a first child between 1970 and 1999, and the probability of these mothers working shortly after childbearing. Authors Stéphanie Gaudet, Martin Cooke and Joanna Jacob studied the change and underlying dynamics with two main questions. First, what are the characteristics that affect Canadian women’s employment? And how have women’s employment transitions after the birth of a first child changed over time? The investigators probed the effects of socioeconomic characteristics on labor force withdrawal using the 2001 General Social Survey, Cycle 15 on Family History. Employment transition was viewed through a type of lifecourse analysis for six cohorts of mothers over the 30-year span. Gaudet, Cooke and Jacob attempted to understand underlying inter-cohort differences through individual characteristics such as level of education, age at childbearing, employment before childbearing, and spousal income. The researchers concluded that since the mid-1980s, mothers with low educational attainment are largely excluded from the labor market during the two years following the birth of their first child.

Bibliographic Notes

The brief was prepared by Joanne Gaudet.