The Unemployment Rates of Men and Women: A Transition Probability Analysis

Michael C. Seeborg, Larry DeBoer

Research output: Journal ArticleArticlepeer-review


Women's unemployment rates were considerably higher than men's for many years, but during the 1980s this difference has virtually disappeared. This study is the first to examine that change through an analysis of trends in the probabilities of labor force transitions- movements between employment, unemployment, and nonparticipation in the labor force. Using BLS data, the authors find that about half of the narrowing of the unemployment rate differential during the 1968-85 period was due to the increasing labor force attachment of women and the decreasing attachment of men. The other half reflects changes in men's and women's tendencies to move between employment and unemployment, which the authors attribute primarily to the secular decline of male-dominated industries.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalIndustrial and Labor Relations Review
StatePublished - Apr 1989


  • Economics

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