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Employment trends for women in British Columbia Leonard, Anne Hewitt

Abstract

Employment trends for women in British Columbia were examined for the 1953 to 1965 period. A time series study showing the effects of secular, seasonal, cyclical and higher educational variables on participation rates was undertaken. Primary source data, necessary for studying the higher educational variable, was obtained from a questionnaire which was constructed and mailed to 1,000 randomly selected married women who were University of British Columbia Graduates from 1922 to 1965 inclusive. The time series analysis indicated that a composite of the variables examined influenced in varying degrees the Female Participation Rates in British Columbia during the 1953 to 1965 period. The economic and educational implications of this analysis have been discussed. Evidence has been given that an underlying, dominant secular trend exists of steadily increasing British Columbia Female Participation Rates. Married Women Graduate Participation Rates have been shown to exhibit a similar rising pattern. Correlation between the two is +.88. Although the secular trend appears to dominate, women are also shown to be affected by both seasonal and cyclical variations. There would seem to be in British Columbia a supply of women who tend to enter the Labour Force when employment opportunities are high and who leave when economic conditions are depressed. Of importance for educational and occupational counselling is the knowledge obtained that the Participation Rates for all British Columbia women have risen steadily from twenty-three to thirty-one per cent over a twelve year period and that the Participation Rates for Married Women Graduates have risen from one and a half to two and a half per cent over the same period. This knowledge implies that some form of vocational training is of vital importance to all girls. Another finding with direct application to the counselling of adolescent and adult women is the strong evidence of the practical value of a university degree. The research showed that economic cycles in British Columbia had approximately only one fourth as much effect on the employment of the Married Women University Graduates as upon the British Columbia Female Labour Force.

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