SEX, AGE AND WORK: The Changing Composition of the Labor Force by Juanita & Robert Clark Kreps

SEX, AGE AND WORK: The Changing Composition of the Labor Force

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Kreps and Clark examine the changing labor force with an eye toward manpower policies and the restructuring of jobs. Looking at age, sex and marital status they conclude that in the next few decades more workers will be female, many of them unmarried--the employment of women, even women with young children, has risen steadily since WW II. Men, on the other hand, are working less, particularly very young men or those near retirement age. They argue that the allotment of time for both sexes between marketplace jobs, ""home work"" (a category economists usually are reluctant to consider since its value can't be measured in dollars) and leisure will shift. Some of their conclusions are unexpected: unequal distribution of income will become more lopsided as the number of families with two highly paid jobs will increase; with women making greater career investments, the geographic mobility of the labor force may decrease; as single women earn more, the incentives to marriage will decline. Extrapolated from US Census, figures and labor Department statistics, Kreps' and Clark's socioeconomic perspective is dense with statistics. It' also focuses exclusively on the supply of labor (rather than the demand) with the implicit suggestion that unless women are better integrated into the labor force, unemployment figures will stay high; to say nothing of possible ""disutility"" to the family. They propose that employers adjust work schedules to achieve more flexible hours, more part-time jobs and paid sabbaticals for increased investment in ""human capital,"" including education or training for a second career, specifically for older men. An austere presentation of some very important data.

Pub Date: Feb. 4th, 1975
Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press