More higher educated women, higher labour participation rate

29/06/2010 15:00

In the period 1996–2009, the education level of women in the age category 25–35 has improved significantly. As a result, the labour participation rate for women has also risen, but working on a full-time basis became less popular among higher educated women.

Sharp increase in higher educated women

In recent years, the level of education in the Dutch population has improved considerably. Women in particular are better educated nowadays and have caught up with men. In 1996, more than one in five women in the age category 25–35 had completed an education at higher vocational (hbo) or university (wo) level, as against one in four men. In 2009, the proportion of higher educated had run up to 42 and 36 percent respectively in the female and male population.

Proportion of higher educated 25 to 35-year-olds

Proportion of higher educated 25 to 35-year-olds

Young women more often have paid jobs

The net labour participation rate of 25 to 35-year-old women has also risen: from 63 percent in 1996 to 79 percent in 2009. Women have partially closed the gap with men. In 1996 as well as in 2009, nearly 90 percent of men were employed.

Net labour participation of women aged 25–35 by level of education

Net labour participation of women aged 25–35 by level of education

Lower educated women less often have paid jobs than higher educated women

Women educated at higher or secondary level more often have paid jobs than their lower educated counterparts. In 2009, nine in every ten higher educated women were employed, as against 80 percent of secondary educated women and just over half of lower educated women.

The sharp increase in higher educated women affected the overall labour participation rate.

Higher educated women not very keen to opt for full-time jobs

Proportionally, working higher educated women in the age category 25–35 less often have full-time jobs. In 1996, 59 percent of these women had paid jobs of 35 hours a week or more versus 52 percent in 2009. The decrease is almost entirely offset by an increase in women working in large part-time jobs of 20 to 35 hours a week.

Higher educated women aged 25–35 by working hours

Higher educated women aged 25–35 by working hours

Marian Driessen