In this paper, the authors use information from a time-series of June Current Population Surveys to examine women's labor force behavior within the first twelve months after the birth of a child. As women's time away from the workplace has shrunk, understanding the changes in behavior within the first year after the birth of a child has become more important. The authors find that within this shorter time period, the conventional Labor Force Participation measure is misleading: many women are employed (and thus labor force participants), but not at work. For employers and those concerned about infant care, the amount of actual work is the relevant concept.
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