The Netherlands has highest rate of part-timers in Europe

The Netherlands has the highest rate of part-timers within the European Union (EU). This applies to both genders.



Nearly half of Dutch working population are part-timers

In 2008, nearly half of 15 to 64-year-old Dutch worked on a part-time basis. The proportion of part-timers is much lower in other EU countries. The Netherlands is followed by Sweden with 26 percent part-timers. With 25 percent, Germany is in third place. The average rate of part-timers for the EU is nearly one in five.

Part-timers by gender


Three quarters of Dutch women work on a part-time basis

The Netherlands’ number 1 position in Europe with respect to part-timers is mainly caused by the high rate of female part-timers. Last year, three quarters of working women in the Netherlands in the age category 15–65 held part-time jobs. In all other EU countries, at least half of working women had full-time jobs. On average, fewer than one in three working women in the EU held part-time jobs.

Male part-timers only made a limited contribution to the top position of the Netherlands within the EU. In 2008, one in four men in the Netherlands were working on a part-time basis. The rate for men is considerably lower than that for women. Still, the Netherlands also tops the EU list with respect to male part-timers.

Many young men work in part-time jobs

Young people and – to a lesser degree – people over the age of 50, make a significant contribution to the relatively high rate of male part-time workers: 62 percent of young workers, mostly students, hold small, part-time jobs alongside their study. The rate of part-timers among 50 to 59-year-old men is one in five. They often participate in partial pension schemes. One in eight people aged between 25 and 50 are working on a part-time basis. In the Netherlands, the proportion of part-timers is higher across all age groups than in other EU member states.

Clemens Siermann