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How working women have changed the US labour market: new CAGE short

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How working women have changed the US labour market: new CAGE short

In this new CAGE video short, Christine Braun reveals why a large female labour force may have an unanticipated negative impact on the economy in the US.

Between 1960 and 2000 the proportion of women wanting to work doubled. This had all kinds of positive consequences for women and wages, but there may be an unanticipated negative impact on the economy. Christine Braun explains that married couples are finding it harder to move across the country to find the best jobs, because both partners are working:

The study considers the likelihood that single and married workers move outside their county to find a job, comparing the 1960s with the 2000s. In the 1960s the likelihood of moving outside the county for work was the same for single people and couples: 6%. By the 2000s, the chance of single people moving rose to 8%, while for married couples it dropped to 4%. As more women have entered the workforce, and as their wages have risen, couples are finding it harder to move to the best jobs. Encouraging movement across the US for jobs is important to make the workforce more efficient. It can also increase wages. Businesses need to be responsive to the problems faced by married couples to enable high-skilled workers to move to the best jobs.

Read the Research

Christine Braun, Charlie Nusbaum and Peter Rupert (2020), Labour market dynamics and the migration behaviour of married couples, Review of Economic Dynamics