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out to work

Working mums are on the rise in Switzerland

The number of working mothers in Switzerland is growing, but most are still part-time, according to the latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office. The number of stay-at-home mums halved between 1995 and 2015.

Twenty years ago, three out of five working women had children under the age of 25 at home; by 2015 it was four out of five. Whereas in 1995 39% of mums did not go out to work, the figure in 2015 was 20%. The Federal Statistical Office published the figures on Tuesday.

One of the main reasons for more mothers being in paid employment is that one salary is no longer enough for a family, the office said. Women also have more qualifications nowadays and do not necessarily want to give up their jobs completely to look after children.

In 2015 nearly 63% of mothers in Switzerland had a part-time position, up from 44% in 1995. When children are really young, mothers typically work 50% of the hours of a full-time position. For single mums the picture is somewhat different, they are not only more likely to be employed than mothers with partners, they also work more hours.

What about working dads?

The number of mums in full-time employment with kids at home stayed the same: 17%. For fathers, 85% worked full-time in 2015, compared with 95% 20 years ago.

According to figures from the Swiss Labour Force Survey, the number of dads working part-time increased from around 3% to 11% over the same period. As for fathers who stayed at home to look after the kids full-time, this number has doubled over the past 20 years – to 4%. 

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