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Using longitudinal data from urban Brazil, the authors track the employment patterns of thousands of children aged 10-16 during four months of their lives in the 1980s and 1990s. The proportion of children who work at some point during a four-month period is substantially higher than the fraction observed working in any single month. The authors calculate an intermittency multiplier to summarize the difference between employment rates in one reference week vs. four reference weeks over a four-month period. They conclude that intermittent employment is a crucial characteristic of child labour which must be recognized to capture levels of child employment adequately and identify child workers.
PMCID: PMC2546602. (Pub Med Central)