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Labour Markets, Gender and Institutional Change

Essays in Honour of Günther Schmid

Edited by Hugh Mosley and Jacqueline O’Reilly

The original essays in this book have been written by a number of leading international experts in the field of labour market studies to honour the intellectual contribution and lifetime achievement of Günther Schmid.
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Chapter 7: Shared work/valued care: new norms for organizing market work and unpaid care work

Eileen Appelbaum, Thomas Bailey and Peter Berg


7. Shared work/valued care: new norms for organizing market work and unpaid care work Eileen Appelbaum, Thomas Bailey, Peter Berg and Arne L. Kalleberg1 INTRODUCTION Much of the stress and anxiety facing working families in the United States arises from recent rapid changes in the paid employment of women, especially mothers, combined with slower changes in the norms and institutions that support paid market work and unpaid care work. In 1967, 41.2 per cent of women over the age of 20 were in paid employment. By 1999, that proportion had increased to 60.1 per cent (see Figure 7.1). Among married women, the increase has been even more dramatic. Between 1967 and 1999, the labour force participation of married women increased from 36.6 per cent to 62.0 per cent and both spouses were employed in more than 60 per cent of all married couple households. Women’s employment in the USA increased most rapidly among married women with children. By 1999, nearly two-thirds of married women with children under the age of six were in the workforce, as were nearly three-quarters of those with school-age children (six to 17). Largely as a result of these employment increases, average annual hours worked per year by married couple households have grown explosively. In 1979, middle-class couples with children worked 3272 hours a year on average, a little more than one full-time and one part-time job. In 1998, these families worked, on average, 3885 hours a year, equivalent to nearly two full-time jobs. The reasons...

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