Changes in Labour Force Participation and Employment Rates Across Successive Cohorts in France

Short paper
By Henri Martin, Catriona Dutreuilh

The large increase in female labour force participation (LFP) in France since the 1970s has been widely documented in the economic literature. Drawing on Labour Force surveys conducted by INSEE over a period of 44 years from 1975 to 2018, this article examines changes in male and female LFP and employment rates. While the LFP and employment rates of women aged 25–50 increased steadily from one generation to the next from the cohorts born in the 1920s, the data reveal a stalling of the uptrend after 1970. Among men, LFP and employment rates at these ages have seen a slow decrease across cohorts. The gender gap in LFP and employment rates continues to narrow, but at an ever slower pace. For the cohorts born before 1970, this convergence between men and women was due mainly to higher female rates, but it is now entirely attributable to declining rates among men.

  • labour force participation
  • full-time-equivalent employment
  • birth cohort
  • Labour Force surveys
  • men
  • women
  • LFP rate by age
  • France
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