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Workin' 9-to-5? More women say no
Paper reports the percentage of women in the labor force stalls as they strain to balance work and family.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The difficulty of maintaining a work-life balance may be affecting the participation rates of women in the workforce, according to a report published Thursday.

The percentage of women working outside the home has stalled since the mid-1990s to a rate well below that of men, the New York Times said.

Many researchers are coming to the conclusion that women aren't choosing to stay out of the work force because of a change in attitudes, but because they face limits on the amount of work they can fit into a week, the newspaper said.

Since the 1960s, women have been altering their lives -- marrying later, having fewer children, persuading men in their lives to do more housework -- to extract more time to accommodate careers, the report said.

But further changes have been difficult to achieve, stretching women to the limit, it said.

"Perhaps time has been compressed as far as it will go. Kids take time, and work takes time," Suzanne Bianchi, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, told the Times.

The stalling female participation rate could have a profound impact on the economy, the newspaper reported, citing a recent report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers that argued that the slowdown in the rate of women in the labor force was weighing on the nation's potential for economic growth.

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That women work fewer hours than men is just one factor affecting the wage gap. See what some of the others are and how despite that, there are still occupations where women's pay trumps men'sTop of page

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