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Vast majority of Swiss mums in paid work in 2021

In 2021, 82% of mothers in Switzerland were economically active, according to data published by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) this week.

Vast majority of Swiss mums in paid work in 2021

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

The rate of mothers working in 2021 (82%) was 22 percentage points higher than it was in 1991 (60%). At the same time fathers were not working at a significantly lower rate. In 2021, 97% of fathers with children aged 15 or under were in the workforce, compared to 99% in 1991. Two working parents has become the overwhelming norm in Switzerland.

However, much of the work undertaken by women remains part time. 78% of working mothers were working part time. At the same time part time work has moved closer to full time. The portion of mothers working between 50% and 89% of full time moved from 26% to 45% between 1991 and 2021, while the portion working less than 50% fell from 51% to 33%.

After the birth of their first child, one in nine economically active mothers in Switzerland leaves the labour market and the proportion of part-time work doubles.

In Switzerland, the proportion of mothers participating in the labour market is significantly higher than the European average for those with young children. 75% of Swiss mothers with a child under the age of 6 were employed in 2021. The EU average was 67%, a8 percentage points lower. The highest rate was in Portugal (84%). However, Switzerland’s rate falls to 78% when the youngest child is between 6 and 11, only 3 percentage points higher than the EU average (75%).

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