In recent years, Canadian women have been flooding into the labour market, into employment and unemployment. While the steadily rising participation rate of women has been carefully documented and discussed, the more dramatic increase in the female unemployment rate has been largely ignored or dismissed as unimportant. To the extent that these patterns have been analysed, the growing number of women searching for paid work has been explained primarily in terms of changing female aspirations and preferences and has been viewed by some as dangerous, as a threat to male employment. Too many women choosing to work (and, as a corollory, choosing not to have babies) is often seen to be the main cause of the increase in both male and female unemployment. More effort has been directed toward dismissing women's unemployment as insignificant — because they do not need to work, because they are secondary workers, and because they claim unemployment primarily to gain eligibility for benefits, toward explaining away women's unemployment, than toward investigating the economic conditions which give rise to these massive changes in women's labour force behaviour.
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