Part-time employment

43.5 % of employed women work part-time

Work & training
43.5 % of employed women work part-time
  • 43.5 % of employed women work part-time, while 11 % of men don’t work full-time.
  • 30 years ago (in 1988), 11 % of employees worked part-time. At that time, 25.9 % of employed women worked part-time, compared to 2.1 % of employed men.
  • In the sectors of accommodation and food service activities and human health and social work activities, more than half of the employees work part-time.
  • Four-fifths time employment is the most popular part-time working arrangement, both for men and women.
  • For female employees, the main reasons for working part-time are “provision of child or dependent care” (24.9 %), followed by “other personal or family-related reasons” (20.4 %), and “the desired job is only offered on a part-time basis” (16.5 %). For men, the main reasons are: “other personal or family-related reasons” (19.8 %), “the desired job is only offered on a part-time basis” (16.5 %) and “other reasons” (11.4 %). 11.1 % of men working part-time cannot find full-time employment.
  • 15 % of employees aged 15 to 64 working part-time want to work more. That is 173,000 persons out of a total of 1,154,000 employees and self-employed aged 15 to 64 working part-time.
Part-time
Content

Part-time employment among employees, according to part-time working arrangements and gender (2018)

In percentage Men Women Total
Full-time 89,1% 55,8% 72,9%
Part-time - 50 % 3,8% 17,7% 10,6%
Part-time - 4/5th 5,4% 20,2% 12,6%
Part-time - other 1,8% 6,2% 4,0%
The data above comes from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). In this survey, people working part-time were asked about the volume of their part-time employment as a percentage of full-time employment. In this table, all percentages from 40 % to 60 % are considered half-time jobs (50 %) and all percentages from 70 % and 90 % as four-firths time jobs (80 %). The category "part-time - other" contains percentages below 40 %, percentages from 60 % and 70 % and percentages above 90 %.
The Labour Force Survey has undergone considerable reform in 2017. From 2017 onward, we work with a rotating panel, we use different data collection methods, and the weighting method was substantially reviewed. This led to a break in our results. Consequently, the figures obtained with the old method cannot be compared to those obtained with the new method.
Section
Content

Percentage of part-time employees compared to the total of employees, per NACE-BEL-2008 section and gender (2018)

Share of part-time employment Men Women Total
A Agriculture, forestry and fishing * * *
B. Mining and quarrying * * *
C Manufacturing 7,2% 28,4% 12,4%
D Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply * * *
E Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities * * *
F Construction 4,2% 34,6% 6,7%
G Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 12,1% 47,2% 28,8%
H Transportation and storage 10,7% 36,3% 16,2%
I Accommodation and food service activities 40,9% 58,5% 50,1%
J Information and communication 9,1% 29,0% 14,7%
K Financial and insurance activities 7,8% 32,1% 20,2%
L Real estate activities * * 23,5%
M Professional, scientific and technical activities 6,5% 30,7% 18,2%
N Administrative and support service activities 16,5% 57,3% 41,8%
O Public administration and defence; compulsory social security 7,2% 32,9% 19,7%
P Education 17,5% 35,5% 30,2%
Q Human health and social work activities 20,7% 56,8% 50,1%
R Arts, entertainment and recreation 27,1% 41,1% 34,2%
S Other service activities * 43,3% 32,4%
T Activities of households as employers; undifferentiated goods- and services-producing activities of households for own use * * * *
U Activities of extraterritorial organisations and bodies * * *
Total 11,0% 43,5% 26,8%
* classification too detailed
The Labour Force Survey has undergone considerable reform in 2017. From 2017 onward, we work with a rotating panel, we use different data collection methods, and the weighting method was substantially reviewed. This led to a break in our results. Consequently, the figures obtained with the old method cannot be compared to those obtained with the new method.
Motivation
Content

Part-time employment per reason and gender (2018)

  Men Women Total
(Eearly) retirement 4,2% 1,0% 1,7%
Cannot find full-time employment 11,1% 5,6% 6,8%
Switched from full-time to part-time employment for economic reasons 1,0% 0,7% 0,8%
In addition to other part-time employment 5,0% 3,9% 4,1%
Combination with training 8,0% 3,3% 4,3%
Medical reason (work incapacity) 8,0% 7,1% 7,3%
Professional reasons (working atmosphere or conditions, stress, harassment...) 0,6% 0,7% 0,7%
Provision of child and dependant care 7,9% 24,9% 21,4%
Other personal or family-related reasons 19,8% 20,4% 20,3%
Does not want a full-time job 6,5% 9,6% 9,0%
The desired job is only offered on a part-time basis 16,5% 16,5% 16,5%
Other reason 11,4% 6,2% 7,3%
Total 100,0% 100,0% 100,0%
The Labour Force Survey has undergone considerable reform in 2017. From 2017 onward, we work with a rotating panel, we use different data collection methods, and the weighting method was substantially reviewed. This led to a break in our results. Consequently, the figures obtained with the old method cannot be compared to those obtained with the new method.
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Labour force survey (LFS)

Purpose and short description

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a socio-economic household survey. Its main objective is to classify the working age populatioin (15 and older) into three groups (persons employed, unemployed and inactive persons) and to provide descriptive and explanatory data on every category. This survey is also carried out in the other EU Member States and is coordinated by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In Belgium, the LFS is organised by the Directorate-General Statistics of the FPS Economy. The objective is to obtain comparable information at European level, in particular as regards employment and unemployment rates as defined by the International Labour Office (ILO), but also to collect and disseminate data that are otherwise not available, for example about the mobility of workers, the reasons for working part-time, the various forms of part-time employment, the profession, the educational level of the working age population,...

Survey population

Members of private households aged 15 or older.

Sample frame

Demographic data from the National Register.

Data collection method and sample size

Data are collected through face-to-face interviews. Since 2017, there have been three (shorter) follow-up surveys to which households respond online or by telephone.

Households with only inactive persons older than 64 can also be interviewed by telephone.

Every year, around 47,000 households receive a letter asking them to take part in this survey.

Response rate

The response rate is above 75 %.

Periodicity

Quarterly.

Release calendar

Results availability: around 3 months after the end of the reference period.

Definitions

Unemployed persons (ILO): In line with the International Labour Office's standards, the unemployed comprise all persons aged 15 or older who were: (a) without work during the reference week (b) currently available for work, i.e. were available for paid employment or self-employment before the end of the two weeks following the reference week (c) actively seeking work, i.e. had taken specific steps in the four weeks period ending with the reference week to seek paid employment or self-employment or who found a job to start later, i.e. within a period of maximum three months.

Employed population (ILO): The employed persons are persons aged 15 or older who during the reference week performed work during at least one hour for wage or salary or for profit; or those who had a job but who were temporarily not at work during the reference period. The family workers are also included. The employed persons are divided into three groups according to their professional situation:

Paid employment: All persons aged 15 or older who, during the reference week, performed work during at least one hour for wage or salary in cash or in kind (with or without formal contract), or who were temporarily not at work (due to sickness, maternity leave, holidays, social conflicts, bad weather or for other reasons) and had a formal attachment to their job.

Self-employment: All persons who do not work for an employer and who performed work during at least one hour for profit during the reference week or were temporarily not at work. This category comprises self-employed workers (with no staff), employers (with staff) and unpaid helpers.

Currently active population: The currently active population includes the employed population and the unemployed population (according to ILO definitions).

Total population: The total population includes all persons living on the national territory, even if they are temporarily absent.

Unemployment rate: The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force (employed + unemployed) aged 15 to 64.

Employment rate: The employment rate represents the percentage of employed people in a given age group (15-64, 20-64,...).

Activity rate: The activity rate represents the labour force (employed and unemployed people) as a percentage of the working age population (15 to 64 years).

Level of education (3 classes): Low-skilled persons are people who have at best a lower secondary education diploma. Medium-skilled persons have obtained an upper secondary education diploma, but no higher education diploma. High-skilled persons have a higher education diploma.