The gender wage gap and women's labour mobility in Newfoundland and Labrador

Khattab, Sherine Hamdy (2020) The gender wage gap and women's labour mobility in Newfoundland and Labrador. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis examines the gender wage gap and women’s labour mobility in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. Women in Newfoundland and Labrador face the highest wage gap in Canada, and a high proportion of the province’s workforce engages in employment-related geographical mobility. The first part of the study details a quantitative economic assessment of the gender wage gap using the Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition that was applied to data from 2001, 2006, and 2016 Canadian Censuses and the National Household Survey from 2011. The wage gap decomposition revealed that most of the gender wage gap in Newfoundland and Labrador could not be explained by variation in demographic data, including gender, age, marital status, full-time status, and presence of children . A logit model was used to analyze the likelihood of individuals in Newfoundland and Labrador to engage in labour mobility, specifically commutes between residence and work that were greater than 100 km. Individuals that had at least a bachelor’s degree, were married, separated, divorced, or widowed, and had children were less likely to commute more than 100 km from their place of residence to their place of work, compared to individuals that had no post-secondary education, were single, and had no children. Moreover, homeowners and women were less likely to commute more than 100 km for employment. The second part of the study examines men’s and women’s experiences with employment-related geographical mobility and the role of place and place attachment to Newfoundland and Labrador. Place attachment may be an unexplained variable when considering the gender wage gap and labour market mobility in Newfoundland and Labrador. Interviews were provided by the On-The-Move Partnership and were evaluated and coded using NVivo 12 software. A qualitative analysis revealed five main themes that affect the labour market mobility decisions of men and women. When describing the labour market mobility decisions of men and women (and the potential implications for wages and the gender wage gap), it is important to consider a) the characteristics of place and community, b) the degree of family support, c) the quality of family life, d) the importance of and implications for community sustainability, and e) the implications for women and their mobility. Support networks and social interactions with family and friends were the most common reasons most women cited when deciding not to move. Additionally, most women expressed a strong sense of place and desire to raise their children in a known, safe community. Finally, the third part of this study evaluated how public policy impacts the gender wage gap and women’s labour market mobility. Of the provinces in Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador has made the least progress in narrowing the gender wage gap. This study compared Canadian and Swedish government public policies related to the gender wage gap, specifically policies of pay equity, employment benefits, childcare benefits and the pension system. Sweden has a different welfare state than Canada and has one of the lowest gender wage gaps in the world. The analysis suggests that the Canadian government should consider improving labour market policies, such as the pay equity act, and enhancing relevant programs such as employment benefits, childcare benefits and the pension system. Improving these policies will help women in Newfoundland and Labrador, and throughout Canada, be more mobile, which should reduce the gender wage gap. Furthermore, improving these policies would also decrease unemployment rates, which should alleviate strain on public resources.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 15056
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: Gender wage gap, Labour mobility, Women's labour mobility, Place attachment, Sense of Belonging
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Economics
Date: December 2020
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Wages--Effect of labor mobility on--Newfoundland and Labrador; Equal pay for equal work--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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