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The Gap Between U.S. and Canadian Working Women That Keeps Growing

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Why Canada Is Outpacing U.S. in Women Labor Participation


For neighbors with similar gender attitudes, it’s surprising to see a widening divergence in the share of women in the labor force in the U.S. and Canada.

The percentage of women in their so-called prime working years participating in the labor market declined to 74 percent in the U.S. last year, while in Canada it rose to 81 percent. The biggest shifts are a drop in participation by younger women in the U.S. and gains for older Canadians. Both countries are seeing women studying more and waiting longer to start smaller families, with Canada offering more generous parental leave benefits.