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Keywords:

  • gender;
  • labor;
  • occupations;
  • opting out;
  • women's employment;
  • work hours

After decades of growth, women's labor force participation stagnated in the 2000s, prompting widespread interest in work–family balance and opting out. However, much of the research and media attention is limited to small samples of women in managerial and professional occupations. Using data from the 2009 American Community Survey, this article examines mothers' labor force participation and work hours across 92 occupations to assess whether mothers in nonmanagerial and nonprofessional occupations exhibit similar work patterns. I find that mothers in managerial and professional occupations are the least likely to remain out of the labor force but most likely to work reduced hours. The results indicate that there is significant occupational variation in women's work–family strategies, and these comparisons provide insight into the differential structures of disadvantage that encourage different work–family outcomes.