Mothers' Long-Term Employment Patterns. Alexandra Killewald, 2015, Paper. "Previous research on maternal employment has disproportionately focused on married, college-educated mothers and examined either current employment status or postpartum return to employment. Following the life course perspective, we instead conceptualize maternal careers as long-term life course patterns. Using data from the NLSY79 and optimal matching, we document four common employment patterns of American mothers over the first 18 years of maternity. About two-thirds follow steady patterns, either full-time employment (38 percent) or steady nonemployment (24 percent). The rest experience “mixed” patterns: long-term part-time employment (20 percent), or a multiyear period of nonemployment following maternity, then a return to employment (18 percent). Consistent employment following maternity, either full-time or part-time, is characteristic of women with more economic advantages ..." Link