Needles and Cribs: Becoming a First-time Mother and Starting Industrial Homework in Early Twentieth-century Sweden

Previously posted at:

Journal of Family History, Ahead of Print.
This article investigates the relationship between labor force transitions and becoming a mother in the early twentieth century. It aims to answer the question: did women start industrial homework when they had their first child? The empirical material consists of 588 interviews made with individual industrial homeworkers in 1911. Event history models were used to analyze the data. The study found that many of the industrial homeworkers did start around the time they had their first child. The results thus suggest that in the early twentieth century, having a child did not always imply making a labor force transition out of the labor force but could also imply making a labor force transition to flexible types of employment, just as it often does today.