07 Mar 2018

Austria still struggles with labor market inequities

The current figures of Statistics Austria show that 49% of mothers with children under the age of 15 work part-time. An in-depth look at the numbers indicates that women mostly forego full-time work because of children and dependent relatives.

Christine Tragler
Christine Tragler Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Austria still struggles with labor market inequities - NewsMavens
Mother and child, Wikicommons.

Why this story matters:

The gender pay gap has not grown smaller since the last surveys: women still earn 38% less than men in Austria.

The numbers give us many clues as to the current gender dynamics in Austrian society. They forewarn of significant discrepancies in pensions for the elderly, and they reveal that fields dominated by women are generally worse paid than fields dominated by men.

Most importantly, they reveal the tremendous burden of unpaid social work that befalls Austrian women. With Europe on the brink of a generalized shortage of care workers, there is often no alternative for families than to care for relatives themselves. But if women alone have to bear the brunt of this task, the pay gap will stagnate, or worse, widen.

women's issues, care crisis , gender, work

Details from the story:

  • Despite rising female participation rates on the work market, gender differences in part-time work, caring responsibilities and income remain high, according to an analysis by Statistics Austria.
  • The difference between the average gross annual income of women and men is 38 percent.
  • The employment rate of 15- to 64-year-old women has risen from 62% in 2006 to almost 68% in 2016, higher than the EU average (61%).
  • However, the number of full-time women workers has stayed the same. The increased participation of women in the labor market is mainly due to part-time work.
  • At the EU level, the standardized calculation of the pay gap between women and men is based on the average gross hourly earnings in the private sector. According to these numbers, the gender pay gap in Austria has fallen to 20% (2016), compared to 25.5%, which is still well above the EU average of 16.2 percent.
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