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This paper takes an initial look at how mothers' and non-mothers' engagement with the labour market has changed over the last 20 years, how the mother and child characteristics affect mothers' levels of employment and unemployment, and the type and quality of work that mothers are employed in and how this compares with women with no children.

Social, cultural, economic, and policy changes have all affected women's participation in paid work in varying ways over the last few decades. In the last 20 years the labour force participation rate of women has increased from 54.5 percent (June 1994 year) to 63.3 percent (June 2014 year). Over the same period, men's participation rate was largely unchanged, but remained higher than women's. While much of this growth in women's participation was in the older age groups, we have also seen significant gains for those aged 25–49 years – the prime child-bearing and rearing ages.

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Citation
Flynn, S, & Harris, M (2015). Mothers in the New Zealand workforce. Paper presented at the LEW16 conference, Wellington, 27–28 November 2014. Available from www.stats.govt.nz.

ISBN 978-0-478-42961-9 (online)

Published 23 February 2015

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