The Life-Course Employment Profiles of Early Baby-Boom Women: A Group-Based Trajectory Analysis

Javier Garcia-Manglano, University of Oxford

The abundance of research on women’s response to specific work and family transitions contrasts with our limited knowledge of the cumulative effects of women’s work and family experiences over the long run. This paper uses group-based trajectory analysis to model the lifetime work trajectories of early baby boomers in the United States, from ages 20 to 54. I find that this cohort’s long-term employment profiles can be summarized in four groups: those who worked consistently (37.8 percent), those who remained largely out of the labor force (22.8 percent), those who gradually increased their work attachment (26.7 percent), and a group of women who worked intensely during young adulthood, but later dropped out of the workforce in dramatic numbers (12.7 percent). I then explore the factors associated with membership in each of these employment trajectories, and relate women’s employment patterns with their wage and occupational long-term profiles.

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Presented in Session 8: Labor Force Participation and Family