Friday, August 5, 2016

Germany, labour market gender

As for Germany, the economic and financial crisis does not seem to have caused a serious impact on employment and unemployment rates39 . This trend has characterised both men’s and women’s employment. In particular, in 2013, women’s employment rate was 72.3% (men’s rate was 81.9%); female employment rate increased from 67.8% in 2008 to 72.3% in 2013 (men’s rate increased from 80.1% to 81.5%); in 2014, the employment rate for women (20–64) was 73.1%, 0.6 p.p. higher than in 2013, but still below men’s employment rate (82.3% in 2014, up 0.2 p.p. from 2013). Women’s unemployment rate decreased from 7.7% in 2008 to 5.0% in 2013 (men’s rate decreased from 7.4% to 5.6%); in 2014, the unemployment rate (15–74) was 4.6% for women and 5.3% for men. Both rates saw a slight decrease compared to 2013 when it was 4.9% for women and 5.5% for men. From a qualitative point of view, women work part time much more often than men do: in 2013, the part-time rate for women was 47.3% compared to 10.6% among men; the share of part-time workers among women in 2014 was 47% (down 0.3 p.p. from 2013), compared to 10.8% among men (up 0.2 p.p. from 2013). This fact is due to the low level of childcare services, especially for children younger than three years: in 2013, formal childcare for children under three years had a total coverage of 28% of all children compared to a coverage of 13.6% in 2006. 

As for the sectoral composition of female work, the increase in women’s employment between 2008 and 2013 is mainly due to the increase of female employees in the following sectors: electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; and education and professional, scientific, and technical activities. In traditionally male-dominated sectors – such as mining and quarrying or construction – the share of female employees is very low, while some sectors – such as education, human health, and social work activities – still are strongly feminised (female employment being respectively at 70% and 77%). These figures show that gender segregation by sector is still far from being overcome in the country. 

As for the GEI, in 2012 Germany scored 55.3, ranking 10 among EU Member States. This score is significantly higher than those registered in 2005 (49.7) and 2010 (49.9), highlighting a reduction in gender gaps. As for the Sub-index Work, it is even higher than the general GEI, scoring 62.2 in 2012; the participation score was very high as well with a 75.9 score in 2012. Nonetheless, the segregation score was much lower (51.0 in 2012), reflecting the high level of labour market segregation and the higher part-time work rate among women rather than among men. 

39 On the whole, the overall number of employees has increased between 2008 and 2013 by nearly one million (from 38,541,500 in 2008 to 39,531,400 in 2013); the total employment rate consequently increased from 74% in 2008 to 77.1% in 2013; moreover, the unemployment rate decreased from 7.5% in 2008 to 5.3% in 2013.

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