Traditionally, women's jobs have always been concentrated in low-skilled, labour intensive areas such as domestic work, service sector work, and manufacturing. In recent years, the mechanization of the productive processes and the advances in information technology has led to the globalization of the world economy. The mechanization of productive processes has greatly reduced the skill requirements for many jobs. Also, the lifting of barriers between national economies had made the access and attainment of cheaper labour very easy for corporations and firms. Because of the above mentioned reasons, Canada is experiencing most of its growth in the service sector. The article I chose to examine, analyses how growth in this sector is affecting the jobs held by men and women in Canada.

The article is called "Retail Sales, Trucking Top Jobs" by Demographics reporter, Elaine Carey. It reports that census data for 1996 shows the service sector as being the dominate creator of jobs in Canada. Carey argues that growth in this area and in self- employment is due to the lack of access to good jobs. Good jobs being full-time, permanent work with good pay, regular hours, and job security. the top three jobs for men are truck drivers, retail sales, and janitors; While the top three for women are retail sales,, secretaries, and cashiers. In the good jobs, Women are concentrated in traditionally female occupations such as nurses and elementary school teachers; While men work as retail trade managers and sales reps. & wholesale trade people. the census data shows that part-time work is growing, while full-time work is gradually disappearing, accounting for 86% of the workforce, compared to 90% in 1980, and 93% in 1970. Part-time work has increased by 20% since 1991 and the number of people self- employed has risen to 28%, accounting for nearly 13% of the Canadian labour force. The census data also shows that while more men are doing unpaid work in the home, women still do more. The occupations of babysitters has moved upto being the top nineth position for women, this significantly accounts for being self-employed. The article reports that 2/3 of men and more than half of women are self-employed, as babysitters, carpenters, etc.

Technological changes along with free trade agreements have caused most firms to move their production to countries with cheap labour such as Mexico and Korea, leaving Canada to specialize in other sectors such as the service sector. For example, using mass-production technology on the assembly lines in the automobile industry, requires little skilled work from the labour. This low-skilled labour can be bought at cheap wages in other markets allowing firms to maximize their profits. These kinds of jobs offered Canadian labour market good hours, good pay, good work conditions, good benefits, not to mention job security. With these jobs moving to economies with cheaper labour, we are left with highly skilled occupations such as doctors, engineers and positions in the service sector such as retail sales rep., babysitters, and waitresses, which are mostly part-time, temporary, and low-paying jobs. Mostly all services are immobile and therefore don't face import services competition.

The increase in the creation of such jobs, traditionally dominated by women has caused the feminization of the labour force in Canada. this implies that men are more and more taking on the responsibilities and jobs traditionally considered to be female- appropriate work. this may be the reason why more men are starting to do unpaid work in the home, their jobs no longer take as much of their time, leaving them to share the housework with the women in their lives.

Due to the increase in part-time, temporary work, as well as the increase in self- employment, the Canadian labour force participation looks like this:







This is the data reflected in the census data released for 1996.