Australian Bureau of Statistics
4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, August 2014
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/08/2014
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Women’s participation in the labour force lower than men’s
Women’s labour force participation rate continues to be lower than men’s, according to a report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.
The ABS found that in 2013-14, 65 per cent of women aged 20-74 were working or looking for work compared to 78 per cent for men of the same age. Over the last five years, men’s participation in the labour force decreased slightly from 79 per cent in 2008-09 while women’s participation remained steady at around 65 per cent.
This gap widens with the arrival of children and then reduces as children enter school. Mothers with dependent children had a much lower labour force participation rate than fathers. While 57.5 per cent of mothers whose youngest child is aged 0-5 years were participating in the labour force, 94 per cent of fathers, whose youngest child is 0-5 years, were working or looking for work.
The age of a mother’s youngest child also had an impact on the average hours that mothers worked. Director of the Living Conditions Section at the ABS, Ms Caroline Daley, commented that employed mothers worked more hours per week when their youngest child was school aged, while fathers’ hours of work remained steady regardless of their child’s age.
“Our latest data shows that of mothers
"Similarly, mothers who worked part-time and have children aged 6-14 years worked, on average, approximately two hours more per week than those with children aged 0-5 years,” said Ms Daley.
However, more mothers who have young children are now in the labour force compared to five years ago. The participation rate for mothers who have children aged 0-5 years increased 2.5 percentage points from 55 per cent in 2008-09.
The participation rate for mothers whose youngest child is school aged (6-14 years) was 78 per cent compared to 92 per cent of fathers with school aged children (6-14 years) who were working or looking for work.
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This page last updated 23 February 2015