Low labour participation rate among lower educated women

17/12/2009 15:00

Lower educated women are less often active on the labour market than women educated at secondary or higher level. The difference with respect to labour participation between lower and higher educated is particularly obvious in Turkish and Moroccan women. The rate is particularly low in lower educated mothers with young children.

Participation rate among higher educated Turkish and Moroccan women twice as high as among their lower educated counterparts
The gross labour participation rate of lower educated women in the age category 25-50 is markedly lower than of secondary and higher educated women. In the period 2006-2008, about 57 percent of low-level educated women participated on the labour market, as against 82 percent of their higher educated counterparts. The labour market participation rate for secondary and higher educated women was nearly 1.5 times as high as for lower educated women. This applied to native Dutch women as well as women from foreign backgrounds. Turkish and Moroccan women constitute an exception. In these groups, secondary and higher educated women participated nearly twice as often on the labour market as lower educated women.

Labour participation of women (25 to 50 yrs) by level of education and ethnic background, 2006/2008

Labour participation of women (25 to 50 yrs) by level of education and ethnic background, 2006/2008

Labour participation lowest among lower educated women with children under the age of four

Lower educated mothers, whose youngest child is attending primary school, more often were active on the labour marker than lower educated mothers whose youngest child was under the age of four. The largest difference was found in women with non-western backgrounds. The gross labour participation rate among lower educated women with a non-western ethnic background and children under the age of four was only 30 percent. If their youngest child was attending school, the participation rate rose to 41 percent. This difference was greater than for lower educated native Dutch mothers and also greater than for mothers educated at secondary of higher level, irrespective of ethnic background.

Female labour participation (25 to 50 yrs) by age of youngest child and ethnic background, 2006/2008

Female labour participation (25 to 50 yrs) by age of youngest child and ethnic background, 2006/2008

Martijn Souren and Jannes de Vries