Young Women’s Transportation and Labor Market Experiences


Thakuriah, Piyushimita (Vonu), Lei Tang, and Shashi Menchu. 2011. “Young Women’s Transportation and Labor Market Experiences.” In Women’s Issues in Transportation: Summary of the 4th International Conference, Vol. 2: Technical Papers, 276-88. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board of the National Academies.

Authors: Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah, Lei Tang, Shashi Menchu


This paper examines the transportation and labor market experiences of women at a stage of life that has been called “emerging adulthood,” “young adulthood,” and even “older youth.” Although young children and older individuals have been the focus of transportation policy research, research on mobility and transportation issues facing young adults is much more limited. The main research questions addressed by this paper are (a) how do the transportation and labor market experiences of young women compare with those of young men and (b) what factors are likely to contribute to the transportation experiences of young women? The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which is a panel data set of a large sample of respondents since 1979 and continuing until the present, was used. Gender differences were examined in several labor market indicators, including the age at entry into the labor force, the number of jobs, the number of weeks worked per year, and average earnings. The transportation indicators analyzed are perceptions of young women with regard to difficulties associated with transportation, job search distance, and the duration of time they remain carless after entering the labor force. Compared with men, a higher proportion of young women perceived difficulties with their travel and transportation conditions, were likely to restrict their job search geographically to a smaller area, and acquired a vehicle earlier through their husbands or later if single. More research is needed to better understand gender-based mobility policies that apply to a large cross section of young women.

Topics: Age, Youth, Gender, Infrastructure, Transportation, Livelihoods

Year: 2011

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