Issues of the 1980s: Part-time Employment, Unemployment and the New Technology



In recent years the three related issues of part-time employment, unemployment and new technology have had a significant impact on the female labour market, and are likely to play an important part in determining future trends. Britain, and to a lesser extent the USA, has in the last decade experienced an increase in both part-time working by females and in the female unemployment rate. Most of the new part-time jobs have provided employment for married women, many of whom have been attracted back into the labour force by this type of work being made available. Meanwhile, a relative scarcity of full-time employment opportunities has developed, and one argument is that these new part-time workers have gained their jobs at the expense of higher unemployment, particularly among younger females who are looking for full-time work. The issue is not quite as clear-cut as this, though, and other factors influencing part-time employment and unemployment are examined here. Technical innovation, in particular the development of the microprocessor, has already had some effect on work patterns and employment levels in several industries and occupations, and research suggests that in the near future it will have an increasing impact on female employment.


Married Woman Female Labour Supplementary Benefit Female Employment Female Unemployment 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1987

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