One of the more remarkable trends of the past half-century in Canada has been the substantial rise in the number of women working in the paid workforce. Today, nearly 70 percent of women work full-time or parttime in paid jobs, compared to only 31 percent in 1965. There are many reasons for this increase.
Women's Rising Wage Rates
Over recent years, women have greatly increased their productivity in the workplace, mostly by becoming better educated and professionally trained. As a result, they can earn higher wages. Because those higher wages have increased the opportunity costs— the forgone wage earnings—of staying at home, women have substituted employment in the labour market for more "expensive" traditional home activities. This substitution has been particularly pronounced among married women.
Women's higher wages and longer hours away from home have produced creative reallocations of time and purchasing patterns. Daycare services have partly replaced personal child care. Restaurants, take-home meals, and pizza delivery often substitute for traditional home cooking. Convenience stores and catalogue and Internet sales have proliferated, as have lawn-care and in-home cleaning services. Microwave ovens, dishwashers, automatic washers and dryers, and other household
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