The Summer Drop in Female Employment

63 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2022

See all articles by Brendan M. Price

Brendan M. Price

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Melanie Wasserman

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2022

Abstract

We provide the first systematic account of summer declines in women’s labor market activity. From May to July, the employment-to-population ratio among prime-age US women declines by 1.1 percentage points, whereas male employment rises; women’s total hours worked fall by 11 percent, twice the decline among men. School closures for summer break−and corresponding lapses in implicit childcare−provide a unifying explanation for these patterns. The summer drop in female employment aligns with cross-state differences in the timing of school closures, is concentrated among mothers with young school-age children, and coincides with increased time spent engaging in childcare. Decomposing the gender gap in summer work interruptions across job types defined by sector and occupation, we find large contributions from both gender differences in job allocation and gender differences within jobs in the propensity to exit employment over the summer. Summer childcare constraints may contribute to gender gaps in career choice and earnings: women−particularly those with young school-age children−disproportionately work in the education sector, which offers greater summer flexibility but lower compensation relative to comparable jobs outside of education.

Keywords: gender gap, seasonality, labor force participation, childcare, time use, school closure

JEL Classification: J130, J160, J220, J240

Suggested Citation

Price, Brendan M. and Wasserman, Melanie, The Summer Drop in Female Employment (2022). CESifo Working Paper No. 9783, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4136948 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4136948

Brendan M. Price (Contact Author)

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

Melanie Wasserman

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.melaniewasserman.com

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
33
Abstract Views
127
PlumX Metrics