Unemployed more engaged in volunteer work than people with paid jobs

16/06/2011 15:00

Some 22 percent in the adult population were engaged in volunteer work in 2009. People with paid jobs almost as often did volunteer work as people who did not have paid jobs, but unemployed spent nearly twice as many hours on volunteer work.

More volunteer work in smaller jobs

On average, adults spent more than one hour a week on volunteer work in 2009. People without paid work spent more than one and a half hour a week on volunteer work. The more hours people work in paid jobs, the less they seem prepared to do volunteer work. People in large part-time jobs spent the least time on volunteer work (nearly 40 minutes a week). Full-timers spent just a little more time on volunteer work.

Number of hours doing volunteer jobs versus number of hours working in paid jobs, 2009

Number of hours doing volunteer jobs versus number of hours working in paid jobs, 2009

Benefit recipients and pensioners active in volunteer work

With an average of more than two hours a week, recipients of unemployment benefits spent the largest amount of time on voluntary work, followed by people on social security benefits who spent on average one hour and forty-five minutes a week on volunteer work.

Proportionally, pensioners also spend a lot of time on volunteer work (more than one and a half hours a week). This also applies to the group of adult disability recipients or people without a source of income of their own. The latter group includes many women, often mothers. Pupils and students, together with employees and self-employed, are the least active when it comes to doing volunteer work (more than forty-five minutes a week).

Voluntary work by adults by socio-economic category, 2008

Voluntary work by adults by socio-economic category, 2008

Koos Arts and Saskia te Riele