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Date Published:Jan 1, 2006
The second half of the twentieth century was marked by dramatic changes in women's economic participation in the United States and other Western industrial countries (Bergmann 1986; Davis 1984; Oppenheimber 1970, 1994). The most important departure from previous decades was the rapid rise in labor force participation among married women. In the United States, this trend began in the 1940s and early 1950s; in each subsequent decade, white married women's labor force participation increased by about 10 percentage points, reaching 60 percent by the end of the century (Blau and Kahn 2005).