In this paper we examine variation between Mexican cities in women’s labor force participation, differentiating between wage and non-wage work. In the past decade women’s employment has increased in response to household income shortages due to the economic crisis, while prior increases appeared to be related to demographic and social change. Using data from the 1987 and 1993 Mexican Urban Employment Surveys, we analyze the relative shifts in the ranks of cities by total, wage, and non-wage female labor force participation. We choose six cities, representing distinct urban economies, to perform logistic regression analyses of the individual and household determinants of female labor force participation. We find that the characteristics of the urban economies interact with household and individual characteristics creating different magnitudes of effects on women’s likelihood of working and the type of work which they engage.