A study by the University of Calgary, School of Public Policy, Labour Force Participation Rate of Women with Young Children, has found that in Alberta, the percentage of women with young children and an employed spouse, who are active in the workforce has remained unchanged since the early 1990s.
The labour force participation rate is a measure of the percentage of a well-defined group of individuals that is an active participant in the labour force. In Quebec in 1976, only 30% of women with an employed spouse and a young child were actively engaged in the work force. The percentage was higher in Alberta (37%) and Ontario (40%), but still well-below what we observe today. Between 1976 and the mid-1990s, the participation rates were increasing by similar amounts in all three provinces. Since that time, the participation rate of women with at least one young child has continued to increase in Quebec and, to a lesser extent Ontario, but it had stagnated in Alberta. The report examines the possible role of provincial social policy in these trends and what can be learned from them.