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Full-Time Employment Less Common among German Women than among other European Women

Chart of the Month – May 2013

In Germany, full-time employment among women is less common than in other European countries. Only 41% of all 25 to 59 year olds work full-time, whereas the EU-average lies at 48%. With full-time rates of 70%, Eastern European countries lead the list. Percentages lower than in Germany can only be found in Italy (40%), Malta (38%) and the Netherlands (19%). This information has been published by the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB).

Overall, the employment rate of women has clearly increased since 2002, however, this trend does not apply to full-time employment. “The proportion of full-time employees has only increased by one percentage point in the past decade, whereas part-time employment has risen by 7 points”, says Harun Sulak from the BiB. Compared to other European countries, Germany seems to have problems with the compatibility of work and family life: Working full-time and caring for children and family members poses a challenge, so does the low social acceptance of working mothers. Furthermore, women in relationships in many cases do not need to work full-time for economical reasons and feel that working part-time is the better approach to personal time management.

The highest part-time rates can be found in the Netherlands, where about 58% of women work less than the regular weekly hours. In Eastern European countries, on the contrary, part-time employment is not at all common (e.g. Bulgaria 1%). Here, people work full-time mainly for financial reasons.


The picture shows a bar chart which illustrates the full-time employment percentages of women aged 25 to 59 in European countries in 2012. Full-Time Employment Rates of Women in a European Comparison 2012


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