September 14, 2022
TOKYO – The proportion of working mothers in child-rearing households exceeded 75% for the first time in 2021, according to a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry survey.
According to the Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions, the proportion of mothers with children younger than 18 who said they were employed stood at a record high of 75.9%, up 3.5 percentage points from 2019. The proportion was the highest since 2004, when the current calculation methods started.
The percentage of mothers in child-rearing households working full-time increased 3.4 percentage points from the previous survey to 29.6%, probably due to measures to support employment, such as the expansion of childcare services, which have made it easier to work full-time. The percentage of mothers in non-regular employment decreased 0.5 percentage points to 37.3%.
Meanwhile, 24.1% of mothers did not work outside of the home. The survey found 39.8% of mothers in households with babies under 12 months of age, 35.1% of mothers in households with 1-year-olds and 35.6% of mothers in households with 2-year-olds were not employed.
The survey results show that the younger the children, the more likely their mothers were not to work.
The survey was conducted in June 2021, covering about 63,000 households nationwide. Sixty-eight percent of them, or about 43,000 households, responded.
The survey was conducted for the first time in two years after the survey in 2020 was canceled due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.