Returners less active job hunters

05/07/2004 10:00

In 2003 a total of 142 thousand people returning to the labour market were looking for jobs of 12 hours a week or more. These are mainly people who, after a period of inactivity, seek to re-enter the labour market. The group largely consists of women over the age of 35 who quite often have under-age children. Compared to all women looking for jobs, women re-entering the labour market are less active.

Many women returners between 35 and 45

Most people returning to the labour market are women. In 2003 nine out of ten people re-entering the labour market were women in total 130 thousand. Nearly half of them were aged between 35 and 45; nearly 40 percent were between 45 and 65.

Most women returners have children

Four out of ten women looking for jobs had a partner and children. For women returners the rate was considerably higher: almost seven out of ten had a partner and children.

The share of women returners with under-age children was particularly high: in 20 percent of the cases the youngest child was aged between 6 and 12. The corresponding percentage among all women looking for jobs was only 12.

Women returners by position in the household, 2003

Women returners by position in the household, 2003

Women returners less actively looking for jobs

In 2003 seven out of ten women returners were available for the job market at short notice. This means that they could start working within two weeks. Three out of ten women returners were actively looking for jobs and thus belonged to the unemployed labour force. Four out of ten women who wanted to work were actively looking for jobs. Consequently, women returners were on average less active than the total group of women who wanted to work.

Women returners by position on the labour market, 2003

Women returners by position on the labour market, 2003

The number of women looking for jobs has decreased slightly since 2000 when there were 160 thousand against 133 thousand in 2003. The share belonging to the unemployed labour force is all but stable at 30 percent.

Sabine Lucassen