The growing educational divide in mothers’ employment: an investigation based on the German micro-censuses 1976-2004

Konietzka, D., Kreyenfeld, M. R.

Work, Employment and Society, 24, 260-278 (2010)


Schlagworte: Germany, employment


This article investigates whether the increase in the labour force participation of mothers in western Germany has been accompanied by growing social inequalities in maternal employment. The focus is on education-related differences in full-time, part-time and marginal employment, and, in particular, changes therein over time. It is assumed that worsening labour market opportunities for the less educated and a ‘familialistic’ social policy context have resulted in growing differentials in mothers’ employment by education. Data from the scientific use files of the German micro-censuses for the years 1976 to 2004 show that the part-time and marginal employment rates of mothers have increased, even as full-time employment rates have declined. Reductions in full-time employment are most pronounced among less educated mothers, resulting in growing educational differences in the employment of mothers.