Number of working mothers with children more than doubles

A new study has found the percentage of mothers who juggle a job and raising young children has more than doubled in a little over three decades.

OTTAWA — A new study has found the percentage of mothers who juggle a job and raising young children has more than doubled in a little over three decades.

Statistics Canada says the employment rate among women with children under the age of three was 64.4 per cent last year, more than twice the proportion of 27.6 per cent in 1976.

The agency says the employment rate for women with children has been steadily rising for three decades — almost doubling in 33 years.

In 2009, 72.9 per cent of women with children under the age of 16 living at home were employed, nearly twice the rate of 39.1 per cent recorded in 1976.

“This analysis of paid work among women shows considerable change in their labour force activity,” says a summary of the study.

“In general, the employment rate for women has followed an upward trend since 1976, when it was 41.9 per cent, although women are still less likely to be employed than men.”

StatsCan says that about 8.1 million women worked last year, or 58.3 per cent of Canada’s working-age females — markedly less than the 65.2 per cent of men.

And, while nearly three-quarters of employed women worked full-time last year, they were still more likely than men to work part-time.

Nearly seven in 10 part-time workers were women. That proportion has changed little over the last three decades, StatsCan says.

“The majority of employed women continue to work in occupations in which they have been traditionally concentrated,” says the study.

“However, they have increased their representation in several professional fields such as business and finance.”

Last year, 67 per cent of employed women worked in teaching, nursing and related health occupations, clerical or other administrative positions, or sales-and-service occupations. In contrast, 31 per cent of employed men worked in these fields.

Yet women comprised 51.2 per cent of business and financial professionals in 2009, up from 38.3 per cent in 1987.

The share of women employed has gone up in diagnostic and treating positions in medicine and related health professions. Women made up 55.2 per cent of doctors, dentists and other health occupations in 2009, as well as 72.5 per cent of professionals employed in social sciences or religion.

The agency says the impact of the recent economic downturn was less severe on women than on men.

The employment rate for men fell 2.9 percentage points to 65.2 per cent between 2008 and 2009. The same pattern was set in the recessions of the early 1980s and 1990s, StatsCan said.

In contrast, the employment rate for women declined by only one percentage point in 2009, after reaching an historic high of 59.3 per cent in 2008.

In 2009, the number of unemployed women rose to 608,000, compared with 487,000 in 2008 and 476,000 in 2007.

The unemployment rate for women increased to seven per cent in 2009, the highest since 2003. But among men, it reached 9.4 per cent, the highest rate since 1996.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Red Deer jumps to 449 active COVID-19 cases on Sunday

1,516 new cases identified in Alberta

The QEII was closed Sunday morning due to a pole fire. (Photo courtesy City of Red Deer)
UPDATE: QEII near Red Deer reopens

The QEII has been reopened after being closed due to a pole… Continue reading

Innisfail RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle crash that happened west of Bowden on March 21, 2021. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Bashaw RCMP investigate fatal collision in central Alberta

Bashaw RCMP are investigating after a fatal collision Saturday afternoon. Police were… Continue reading

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It's not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he'd been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

DELIA, Alta. — It’s not often police can report that a unicorn… Continue reading

Investigators from the Vancouver Police Department were in Chilliwack Saturday, collecting evidence connected to a double homicide. (file photo)
Police investigate shooting death of man outside downtown Vancouver restaurant

Vancouver police say one man was killed in what they believe was… Continue reading

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start registering people 18 years and older for COVID-19 vaccines

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says it’s inviting people 18 years… Continue reading

San Jose's Tomas Hertl, center, celebrates with teammates Patrick Marleau, left, and Rudolfs Blacers, right, after Hertl scored a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, Friday, April 16, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Patrick Marleau set to break Gordie Howe’s games record

For Patrick Marleau, the best part about Monday night when he is… Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Half of U.S. adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

WASHINGTON — Half of all adults in the U.S. have received at… Continue reading

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Federal government to send health-care workers to Ontario, Trudeau says

MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says federal departments and some Canadian… Continue reading

People cross a busy street in the shopping district of Flushing on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in the Queens borough of New York. Access to the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is growing by the day. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kathy Willens
Despite COVID-19 vaccines, Americans in D.C. not feeling celebratory — or charitable

WASHINGTON — This might make Canadians jealous of their American cousins for… Continue reading

A man pays his respects at a roadside memorial in Portapique, N.S. on Thursday, April 23, 2021. RCMP say at least 22 people are dead after a man who at one point wore a police uniform and drove a mock-up cruiser, went on a murder rampage in Portapique and several other Nova Scotia communities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Memorial service in Nova Scotia marks one year since mass shooting started

TRURO, N.S. — A memorial service is planned for today in central… Continue reading

In this April 23, 2016, photo, David Goethel sorts cod and haddock while fishing off the coast of New Hampshire. To Goethel, cod represents his identity, his ticket to middle class life, and his link to one the country's most historic industries, a fisherman who has caught New England's most recognized fish for more than 30 years. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
‘It’s more than just a fish:’ Scientists worry cod will never come back in N.L.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The latest assessment of Atlantic cod stocks, whose… Continue reading

Most Read