Microcensus of the federal statistical office: good figures, no success

According to the figures, almost three-quarters of Germans can live off their jobs. But women in particular have to make do with part-time jobs.

No one should be dependent on tips Photo: unsplash/ Sam Truong Dan

Seven out of ten adults make their living today largely through their job, reported the Federal Statistical Office on Monday. That’s about 72 percent of the working population in Germany. Or expressed in concrete figures: 37 million people can live more or less well from their work and are not dependent on state social transfers.

Eighteen years ago, in 2000, things looked different. At that time, around 63 percent of men and women between the ages of – a good 33 million people – made a living from their own gainful employment.

What looks like a reasonably balanced labor market turns out not to be quite so brilliant on closer inspection. For one thing, there are significant differences between the sexes: While 78 percent of men are supported by their jobs today, only about 66 percent of women are.

To be sure, this is slightly better than it was in 2000, when just under half of working women lived off their jobs (for men, it was 74 percent). At that time, however, about one-third of women were dependent on their husband’s or partner’s money. Today, that figure is just under 19 percent, or slightly less. But who wants to be dependent on their partner?

Secondly, the labor market has by no means mutated into a social and gender paradise within just a few years. On the contrary, the rise in the labor force participation rate among women is due to the increased number of mini- and part-time jobs. According to the Federal Employment Agency, there were a good 4 million women working part-time in 2007. Ten years later, there were already over 7 million. The number of women working full-time, however, has remained the same. The part-time rate for men, on the other hand, has increased only marginally.

We must react

There were no reactions. No one spoke up. Neither a politician from the Left Party, nor anyone from the Greens, nor from the party with the social ambience, the SPD. Nor did anyone from the CDU, CSU, FDP comment on the figures. Not even to confirm their own political agenda: Look here, there is no need for quota laws at all, nor for legal requirements for part-time and full-time work. It’s all nonsense. The market takes care of that all by itself.

So we have to react – and demand: Away with mini-jobs and towards the social and financial upgrading of jobs in the care and service sector, an obviously sustainable female domain. More daycare places to enable uncomplicated employment for all. More family working hours and more part-time work for men, too.

Surveys have shown for years: On average, women want to work more, especially part-time workers, and men less. This makes everyone happier and ensures social participation and recognition – a side effect of gainful employment that should not be underestimated.

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