The employment participation rate among mothers with a non-western background is significantly lower than among native Dutch mothers, but since 2006, employment among women with a non-western background has also risen. Most of these women work between 28 and 35 hours a week.
Gap with native Dutch mothers has not widened
The employment participation rate among native Dutch mothers gradually increased from 58 percent in 2001 to 75 percent in 2009. The employment participation rate among mothers with a non-western background initially remained fairly stable at 40 percent, but when the situation on the labour market picked up after 2006, the employment rate in this category also improved to nearly 50 percent in 2009. In recent years, the gap has not widened. Last year, nearly 1.1 million native Dutch mothers and 144 thousand mothers with a non-western background belonged to the employed labour force.
Employment participation rate of mothers with underage children by ethnic background
Mothers with non-western background have longer working hours
More than half of non-western mothers worked at least 28 hours a week in 2009 versus one third of their native Dutch counterparts. In both categories, the share of women with large part-time jobs (28–35 hours a week) has risen continually in recent years. On the other hand, the proportion of non-western mothers active in full-time jobs has dropped considerably, but remained stable among native Dutch mothers.
Mothers with a non-western background more often work on a full-time basis, because the proportion of single mothers is higher among Surinamese and Antilleans. Working single mothers are more likely to have full-time jobs.
Working hours mothers with underage children in the employed labour force
Three in ten would like to work twelve hours a week or more
The proportion of mothers prepared to accept jobs of twelve hours a week or more is about the same in both categories, i.e. three in ten mothers not included in the employed labour force in 2009. Most mothers not active on the labour market say they are unable to work, because they have to look after their families. More native Dutch than non-western mothers use this as an argument. Relative to 2001, fewer mothers from both background categories say caring for their families is the reason for not participating on the labour market.
Labour market status mothers not belonging to the employed labour force