Nearly 3.3 million women were working twelve hours a week or more last year, an increase by more than 460 thousand relative to 2002. The number of women with part-time jobs of 20 to 35 hours a week grew rapidly. The main reason for women to opt for part-time jobs is the care for family or household.
More women have large part-time jobs
The labour participation rate in the 15 to 65-year-old population increased from 64.5 percent to more than 67 percent between 2002 and 2011. Women account entirely for the increase. In 2002, 53 percent of women had jobs of twelve hours a week or more versus over 60 percent in 2011.
The increase in part-time working women was almost entirely realised in the category part-time jobs of 20 to 35 hours a week. Nearly a third of all 15 to 65-year-old women were working 20 to 35 hours a week in 2011, as against only a quarter a decade ago.
Female labour participation by weekly working hours
Care for family or household main reason for working in a part-time capacity
Nearly half of part-time working women had opted for this solution, because they had to care for their families or households; 23 percent of women in large part-time jobs (20 to 35 hours a week) and 17 percent of women in small part-time jobs (12 to 20 hours a week) stated they did not want to work on a full-time basis. Women in small part-time jobs three times as often as women in large part-time jobs said that attending some form of education was the reason for working part-time.
Reason for women to have small or large part-time jobs, 2011
Fewer women stay at home to care for family or household
More than 530 thousand unemployed women and women working no more than twelve hours a week said they could not work (more) in 2011. Women in small part-time jobs most often (57 percent) said that they could not work (more) because they were attending some form of education, whereas unemployed women most often (29 percent) said that illness or work disability prevented them from participating on the labour market.
Fewer than two in every ten unemployed women did not want a substantial job, because they had to care for family or household versus three in every ten women in 2002.
Reason for women not to work or work less than twelve hours a week, 2011
Hendrika Lautenbach and Godelief Mars