Labor Force Participation of Foreign Born Women, 1980-2012: Role of Cohort, Duration of Stay and Age at Migration

Veena S. Kulkarni, Arkansas State University
Xiaohan Hu, University of Maryland

Women’s labor force participation has risen dramatically since 1968. Although the women’s employment rates have stalled after 1999, yet the gap between women’s and men’s employment rate has been shrinking. Research shows participation rates to systematically vary by attributes such as race, ethnicity, immigration status as well as by the more exogenous cultural prescriptions. There have however been no studies examining the trends in the labor force participation of foreign born women in a dynamic framework. This study employs pooled data from the 1980 through 2000 Censuses and 2001 through 2012 American Community Survey data to create synthetic cohorts. Preliminary results show significance of duration of stay and age at migration. Foreign born women with increased duration of stay experience employment rates comparable to native born women. Women migrating above 35 years of age have greater initial participation rates than women migrating below the age of 35.

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 Presented in Session P6. Migration and Urbanization/Population, Development, and the Environment