Working Lives

General changes in life, 1920's - present

Changes in family life


By the time, Angie started work at John Lewis in 2011, her mum Shelley was a 25-year John Lewis veteran and a senior clerical officer at the store. Shelley had taken time off to have Angie and her older brother Elvis (guess who father Bobby’s favourite singer is?) but in both cases went back to work quickly.

The changing face of family life over the last 20 years is demonstrated by the big increase of women having children much later. For most of the twentieth century, the majority of women used to start their families in their twenties. Fertility rates for women aged 35-39 have doubled over the last two decades, as have figures for the number of women over 40 who are still childless.

There has also been a reduction in the number of married couples, with the number of women under the age of 50 who were married going down from two-thirds to one half since the mid-1980s. Plus, there’s a much higher number of women who cohabit (live with a partner) like Shelly does with Bobby, or perhaps only get married when they start a family.