More women than men outside the labour force

In 2021, the share of women in the EU (25-54-year-olds) outside the labour force  who were not seeking employment was much higher than for men (18.5 % compared with 8.2 %).


Significant differences can be observed in the reasons men and women outside the labour force aged 25-54 have for not seeking employment. The shares of women outside the labour force who did not look for a job due to care responsibilities (5.7 %) and other family reasons (2.9 %) were significantly higher than those of men. Even if those two categories of care responsibilities and family reasons are combined for men, the resulting share is only 0.5%.


At national level, women outside the labour force aged 25-54 who did not seek employment due to care responsibilities exceeded 5 % in half of the EU countries. The highest share was recorded in Czechia (12.8 %), followed by Romania (11.0 %) and Ireland (8.2 %). Meanwhile, the lowest shares were recorded in  Denmark (0.9 %), Sweden (1.5 %) and Slovenia (1.8 %).

On the other hand, the corresponding share for men, even though combined with ’other family reasons’, exceeded 1 % only in Ireland (1.1 %).


For more information:

Methodological notes:

  • ‘Other reasons’ include education or training, retir
  • ement, awaiting recall to work (lay-off), no suitable job is available, other personal reasons and not stated.
  • Data reliability flags are available in the Excel file below the visual.