More than half of couples with young children one-and-a-half-income earners

05/11/2013 15:00

Last year, in 54 percent of couples with young children one partner was working on a full-time basis and the other partner on a part-time basis. This was also the case in 2008. The corresponding figure for 1996 was 31 percent.

One quarter of couples live on one full-time income

In 2012, more than 1.2 million couples had children living at home under the age of twelve. The so-called one-and-half-income earners model implies that one partner is working on a full-time basis and the other partner on a part-time basis. With 54 percent, this was the most common income model. In nearly one quarter of couples with young children, one partner was working on a full-time basis (35 hours a week or more) and the other partner did not belong to the employed labour force.

Couples with children under the age of twelve by income model, 2012

Couples with children under the age of twelve by income model, 2012

Share one-and-a-half-income earners stable in recent years

Despite the ongoing recession, the share of one-and-a-half-income earners among couples with young children has hardly changed since 2008. In the period prior to the recession, the trend was upwards: from 31 percent in 1996 to 54 percent in 2008. The increase levelled off between 2000 and 2004, when there was also a slowdown in the economy.
The share of households with only one employed person working on a full-time basis has declined continually: from 52 percent in 1996 to 23 percent in 2012, but in recent years, the reduction has been less dramatic. The share of households in which both partners are working on a full-time basis has risen from 4 to 8 percent since 1996.

Share one-and-a-half-income earners among couples with children under the age of twelve

Share one-and-a-half-income earners among couples with children under the age of twelve

One working day more a week since 1996

The total number of weekly working hours has also remained unchanged since 2008 among couples with young children. In 2012, they averaged 57 working hours a week together, but currently, they work more hours in paid jobs than in the mid-1990s. On average, couples with young children worked 49 hours a week in 1996. Mothers entirely accounted for the increase by one working day a week.

Working hours couples with children under the age of twelve

Working hours couples with children under the age of twelve

Henk-Jan Dirven