Working single mothers often hold full-time jobs

20/11/2008 15:00

Fewer single mothers than mothers with a partner at home participate in the labour process. Working single mothers, on the other hand, often have part-time jobs of at least 28 hours a week or full-time jobs. This is partly due to the fact that single mothers often have a non-western background.

Long-term labour participation in single mothers

Last year, there were 254 thousand single mothers in the Netherlands with one or more children under the age of 18; 58 percent of them worked 12 hours a week or more. This percentage is lower than for mothers living with a partner (67 percent).

The labour participation rate among single mothers and mothers living with a partner increased by 7 and 10 percentage points respectively between 2001 and 2007. Hence, the difference in labour participation between mothers living with and without a partner has increased.

Proportion of mothers working 12 hours a week or more

Proportion of mothers working 12 hours a week or more

More full-timers among working single mothers

With 23 percent, the share of full-timers was higher among single mothers than among mothers with a partner (13 percent). Last year, 31 percent of single mothers in part-time jobs worked between 28 and 35 hours; 19 percent of mothers living with a partner were in the same range.

Weekly working hours working mothers, 2007

Weekly working hours working mothers, 2007

Large proportion of non-western single mothers hold full-time jobs

The difference in working hours has to do with the relatively high proportion of single mothers with a non-western background. Over the period 2001-2007, an average of 28 percent of single mothers had a non-western background, against 12 percent of mothers living with a partner. Mothers with a non-western background much more often work full-time or at least 28 hours a week than native Dutch mothers. Nearly half of working mothers with a non-western background without a partner held full-time jobs, as opposed to only one fifth of single, native Dutch working mothers.

Weekly working hours employed mothers by ethnic and social background, 2001/2007

Weekly working hours employed mothers by ethnic and social background, 2001/2007

Moniek Coumans