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At the bottom of the heap: the experiences, influencing factors and job characteristics of older female part-time workers

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dc.contributor.advisor Cross, Christine
dc.contributor.advisor Lavelle, Jonathan
dc.contributor.advisor Turner, Thomas
dc.contributor.author O'Sullivan, Nuala Maeve
dc.date.accessioned 2018-08-01T13:51:16Z
dc.date.available 2018-08-01T13:51:16Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/7015
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Disparate labour market theories have sought to explain the increase in women’s labour force participation in the developed world in recent decades. This participation has been characterised as part-time and segregated in low status, poorly paid jobs. Factors such as the workings of labour markets, individual attributes such as education and work experience, constraints and preferences have all been proposed to explain the features and prevalence of contemporary female labour force participation. Despite this, there is a dearth of information on why older people in general and older women in particular, work part-time in Ireland. This study seeks to add to this body of knowledge by comprehensively exploring the trends, factors likely to influence why older female workers end up in part-time jobs in the Irish labour market and the characteristics of these jobs. The posing of these questions is particularly relevant given that increased life expectancy and the reduction in the proportion of the working age population will necessitate older people working into their late 60s and beyond in Ireland. Data is derived from two sources in order to address the over-arching question posed in this research, namely whether older females work part-time in Ireland because of choice or constraints imposed by labour market rigidities and mobility issues, limited human capital accumulation, the dearth of good-quality part-time jobs or caring responsibilities. For the first time, key variables are drawn from three labour force datasets over a 16-year period to provide a descriptive analysis of who the typical older female part-time worker is, where they work and in what capacity, as well as shedding light on what has changed over this period. This trend analysis highlights significant changes in demographic and socio-economic characteristics for this worker cohort over time. The findings reveal that the factors likely to influence parttime working among older females include under-employment, limited educational attainment, few years’ work experience and employment in lower occupations. The study also finds that the characteristics associated with these jobs include low-wage, private sector employment with few employment benefits. These findings evolve our knowledge of part-time working by older females and lead to the conclusion that, in agreement with Dual labour market theorists, part-time employment among this worker cohort in the Irish context is secondary labour market employment where human capital characteristics are rewarded to a limited extent. It is therefore the characteristics of the job, rather than the person, which dictate the terms and conditions of employment. While human capital characteristics, preferences and constraints impact on older females’ employment decisions in Ireland, they do not dictate them. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject women's labour force participation en_US
dc.subject developed worlds en_US
dc.subject Ireland en_US
dc.subject older women en_US
dc.title At the bottom of the heap: the experiences, influencing factors and job characteristics of older female part-time workers en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US


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