Geographical Review of Japan
Online ISSN : 2185-1727
Print ISSN : 1347-9555
ISSN-L : 1347-9555
The Job Search Processes of Married Women Living in Chiba New Town
Shuichi ITO
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2006 Volume 79 Issue 12 Pages 680-699


This study examines how married women adapt their way of life to the suburbs and why they choose to hold part-time jobs, to clarify the mechanisms underlying “spatial entrapment” and “spatial mismatch.” Data were collected through a questionnaire survey targeting married couples living in Chiba New Town, located in the northeastern suburb of the Tokyo metropolitan area. Among 107 sampled women, 72 are part-time workers. Many of them preferred the short commute, short and flexible working hours, and lack of overtime responsibilities in their job. Thus they often found jobs by receiving information on the local labor market from news-papers and their insertions, posters and displays, and direct leaflets. Women who found their current jobs through these mediums commute to their workplaces approximately four kilometers away from their home, which corresponds to the distance between stations in the new town. Nevertheless, after commencing work, women realized that their current jobs did not match their preferred ones. Also, full-time homemakers are likely not to need to work outside the home in order to support their households. These results demonstrate that suburban married women become short-distance commuters because they take advantage of the social environment that embeds them in their job search. However, this also reflects unique characteristics of Chiba New Town, such as inaccessibility to central Tokyo, wives' lifestyle of giving priority to their family needs, and the relatively high incomes of their husbands that are sufficient for living.

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