Female labour supply Ireland Labour statistics Female employment
Economic & Social Research Institute
Fahey, Tony. 'Measuring the female labour supply: conceptual and procedural problems in Irish official statistics'. - Economic & Social Review, Vol. 21, No. 2, January, 1990, pp. 163-191, Dublin: Economic & Social Research Institute
This paper examines some problems which reduce the usefulness of Irish labour statistics as measures of women's, particularly married women's, labour activities. These problems arise both at a conceptual level — principally in connection with the definition of the concept of economic activity — and at an operational level in the procedural bases of Census of Population and Labour Force Survey statistics. An examination of data on the female labour supply from these and other sources since the 1920s shows that their meaning is often ambiguous, particularly up until the last two decades or so, and that in general they provide only partial coverage of women's role in the labour force. As a result much of our conventional understanding of female labour supply trends may need to be revised. The paper concludes by summarising what can and cannot be said from available statistics in this area and what precautions should be taken in using them in the future.
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