Volume 12 - Article 8 | Pages 173-196

Labor force plans and labor force status: U.S. women of the college class of 1957

By Karen Leppel

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Date received:19 Oct 2004
Date published:22 Apr 2005
Word count:5051
Keywords:education, labor force, labor force expectations


Many U.S. women who were in their late 60s at the turn of the century were still employed. These women graduated from college in the 1950s, an era when women’s labor force participation was low. Data from the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau Survey of the college class of 1957 was used to examine labor force expectations of these women when they completed college.
Logit analysis was applied to four labor force categories: full-time, part-time, unemployed, and not in the labor force. In 1957, many women underestimated their future labor force participation. By 1964, though, the trend toward increasing future work expectations may have begun. After examining the retirement literature and factors encouraging older women to continue working, Current Population Survey data on college-educated women aged 65 to 69 in 2003 were used to explore the labor force participation of this cohort later in life.

Author's Affiliation

Karen Leppel - Widener University, United States of America [Email]

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