Maternal Employment Patterns from Birth to Age Nine

Natasha Pilkauskas, Columbia University

The dramatic increase in maternal employment over the last 40 years has led to a large literature studying maternal employment, but little research has investigated maternal employment patterns over time. To fill this gap in the literature, we study maternal employment patterns over the first nine years post the birth of a child using longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. We also study changes in the characteristics of employment over time (e.g. nonstandard work schedules, full-time/part-time work, weeks worked, workplace flexibility), and differences in these patterns by demographic characteristics (race/ethnicity, marital status, education). Preliminary results suggest high levels of maternal employment (89% of mothers report being in the labor force at some point over the 9 year period), increasing amounts of work, and changing patterns of nonstandard work over time. Ultimately we seek to provide a more comprehensive descriptive picture of maternal employment over time.

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Presented in Session 8: Labor Force Participation and Family