More women than men outside the labour force

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In 2021, the share of women in the EU (25-54-year-olds) outside the labour force  who were not seeking employment was much higher than for men (18.5% compared with 8.2%).

Significant differences can be observed in the reasons men and women outside the labour force aged 25-54 have for not seeking employment. The shares of women outside the labour force who did not look for a job due to care responsibilities (5.7%) and other family reasons (2.9%) were significantly higher than those of men. Even if those two categories of care responsibilities and family reasons are combined for men, the resulting share is only 0.5%.


Infographics: People outside the labour force not seeking employment, by sex and main reason, age group 25-54, in % of total population, 2021

At national level, women outside the labour force aged 25-54 who did not seek employment due to care responsibilities exceeded 5% in half of the EU countries. The highest share was recorded in Czechia (12.8 %), followed by Romania (11.0%) and Ireland (8.2%). Meanwhile, the lowest shares were recorded in  Denmark (0.9%), Sweden (1.5%) and Slovenia (1.8%).

On the other hand, the corresponding share for men, even though combined with ’other family reasons’, exceeded 1% only in Ireland (1.1%).


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