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Employment

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2.1 Ireland and EU: Employment rate, 2006-2016
% aged 15 -64
YearIrelandEU
MenWomenMenWomen
200677.759.171.557.2 
200777.560.672.458.1
200875.460.472.658.9
200966.857.670.658.4 
201063.956.070.158.2
201162.855.670.058.4
201262.455.269.658.6
201364.655.969.458.8
201466.356.470.159.5
201568.757.670.860.4
201669.959.571.861.4
Source: CSO QNHS, Eurostat LFS

 

  • The employment rate for men in Ireland was about 77% in 2006 and 2007 but fell sharply in 2009 to 66.8% and declined again in 2010 to 63.9%.
  • 2011 and 2012 saw further small decreases which left the male employment rate at 62.4% in 2012 before rising steadily over the following four years to stand at 69.9% in 2016.
  • The employment rate for women in Ireland rose from 59.1% in 2006 to 60.6% in 2007 before falling over the following five years to 55.2% in 2012.
  • Since 2012, the employment rate for women has increased each year to 59.5% in 2016.
  • The employment rate for men in the EU rose from 71.5% in 2006 to 72.6% in 2008 before dropping to 69.4% by 2013 and rising since then to reach 71.8% in 2016.
  • The employment rate for women in the EU was about 58% between 2006 and 2013 and has increased slightly since then to stand at 61.4% in 2016.
  • In 2016 the employment rates for both men and women in Ireland were below the rates in the EU. The rate for men in Ireland of 69.9% was below the EU rate of 71.8% while the rate for women in Ireland of 59.5% was less than the rate for women in the EU of 61.4%.
Ireland MenIreland WomenEU MenEU Women
200677.759.171.557.2
200777.560.672.458.1
200875.460.472.658.9
200966.857.670.658.4
201063.95670.158.2
201162.855.67058.4
201262.455.269.658.6
201364.655.969.458.8
201466.356.470.159.5
201568.757.670.860.4
201669.959.571.861.4
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2.2 EU: Employment rate, 2016
% aged 15-64
CountryMenWomenPercentage points gender differential
Sweden77.574.82.7
Denmark77.772.05.7
Germany78.570.87.7
Netherlands79.670.19.5
Lithuania70.068.81.2
United Kingdom78.368.89.5
Estonia75.768.67.1
Austria75.467.77.7
Latvia70.067.62.4
Finland70.567.62.9
Czech Republic79.364.414.9
Slovenia68.962.66.3
Portugal68.362.45.9
EU 2871.861.410.4
France67.660.96.7
Luxembourg70.560.410.1
Hungary73.060.212.8
Bulgaria66.760.06.7
Ireland69.959.510.4
Cyprus68.359.09.3
Slovakia71.458.313.1
Belgium66.558.18.4
Poland71.058.112.9
Spain64.854.310.5
Romania69.753.316.4
Malta78.352.625.7
Croatia61.452.49.0
Italy66.548.118.4
Greece61.043.317.7
    
Iceland89.483.65.8
Switzerland84.976.78.2
Norway75.772.82.9
Macedonia58.639.219.4
Turkey70.031.238.8
Source: CSO QNHS, Eurostat LFS

 

  • In 2016 the employment rate in Ireland for women was 59.5%, below the EU average of 61.4% and the eleventh lowest in the EU.
  • The employment rate for women was above 70% in Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. The lowest rate in 2016 was in Greece at 43.3%.
  • The employment rate for men in Ireland was 69.9%, below the EU average rate of 71.8% and the twelfth lowest rate in the EU.
  • The employment rate for men was above 75% in nine EU countries - the Netherlands, Czech republic, Germany, the United Kingdom, Malta, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Austria.
  • The employment rate was higher for men in all EU countries with a difference of 10.4 percentage points in Ireland. The gender differential was lowest in Lithuania at 1.2 points and highest in Malta at 25.7 points.

 

This map is © Ordnance Survey Ireland. All rights reserved. License number 01/05/001.
This map is © Ordnance Survey Ireland. All rights reserved. License number 01/05/001.
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2.3 Ireland: Employment rates for persons aged 55-64, 2007 - 2016
  %
YearMenWomen
Age 55-59Age 60-64Age 55-59Age 60-64
200673.957.146.930.8
200775.359.547.730.7
200873.158.748.932.7
200970.852.550.031.7
201066.349.453.031.9
201165.349.553.332.7
201262.548.452.832.3
201366.450.053.331.7
201468.750.953.435.3
201572.656.855.535.0
201673.656.958.737.4
Source: CSO QNHS

 

  • Between 2006 and 2016 the employment rate for women aged 55-59 increased from 46.9% to 58.7% and the rate for women aged 60-64 increased from 30.8% to 37.4%.
  • Over the same time period, the employment rate for men aged 55-59 droppped slightly from 73.9% to 73.6% while the rate for men aged 60-64 dropped from 57.1% to 56.9%.
  • The combined effect of these changes means that the gap in employment rates for men and women aged 55-59 has nearly halved, from 27 percentage points in 2006 to 14.9 points in 2016.
  • The gap in employment rates for men and women aged 60-64 decreased from 26.3 percentage points in 2006 to 19.5 points by 2016.
Male 55-59Male 60-64Female 55-59Female 60-64
200673.957.146.930.8
200775.359.547.730.7
200873.158.748.932.7
200970.852.55031.7
201066.349.45331.9
201165.349.553.332.7
201262.548.452.832.3
201366.45053.331.7
201468.750.953.435.3
201572.656.855.535
201673.656.958.737.4
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2.4 Ireland: Labour force participation rate1 (ILO) by age group, 2016
 % of cohort in labour force  000 persons%
Age groupMenWomenTotal Number of persons in Labour Force% women
 MenWomen
15-1919.119.519.3 28.427.549.2
20-2469.663.366.6 82.070.046.1
25-3487.577.882.5 267.3255.148.8
35-4491.874.683.1 330.8278.245.7
45-5487.768.378.0 273.0215.144.1
55-5980.761.070.7 106.782.143.5
60-6461.239.550.2 70.946.939.8
65 & over16.95.811.0 49.119.628.5
Total67.853.660.6 1,208.3994.445.1
Source: CSO QNHS
1Persons in the labour force as a proportion of the population.

 

  • The labour force participation rate for men in Ireland in 2016 was 67.8%, over 14 percentage points higher than the rate for females of 53.6%.
  • The labour force participation rate for men was highest for the 35-44 age group at 91.8%. For women, the highest participation rate occurred in the 25-34 age group, with 77.8% of women in that age group in the labour force.
  • The participation rate for older women was much lower than that for men, with a rate of 39.5% for women aged 60-64 compared with 61.2% for men in this age group and just 5.8% for women in the 65 and over age group compared to 16.9% for men.
  • Women represented 45.1% of the labour force in 2016. Just under half (49.2%) of the labour force aged 15-19 were female, the highest proportion across all age groups.
MenWomen
Age 15-1919.119.5
Age 20-2469.663.3
Age 25-3487.577.8
Age 35-4491.874.6
Age 45-5487.768.3
Age 55-5980.761
Age 60-6461.239.5
Age 65 & over16.95.8
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2.5 Ireland: Labour force participation rate1 (ILO) by sex, 2007 - 2016
 % of cohort in labour force
YearMenWomenTotal
200673.453.163.2
200773.754.764.1
200873.154.563.7
200971.154.062.5
201069.053.461.1
201168.153.260.5
201267.852.860.1
201367.953.460.5
201467.752.660.0
201567.952.860.2
201667.853.660.6
 Source: CSO QNHS
1Persons in the labour force as a proportion of the population.

 

  • The labour force participation rate for women rose from 53.1% in 2006 to 54.7% in 2007 before dropping to 52.8% in 2012. The rate then increased slightly over the following four years to stand at 53.6% in 2016.
  • The participation rate for men increased from 73.4% in 2006 to 73.7% in 2007 before dropping to 67.8% in 2012 and then stayed at about this level over the following four years.
  • In the ten years between 2006 and 2016 the gap in the labour force participation rate between men and women narrowed from 20.3 to 14.2 percentage points.
MaleFemaleTotal
200673.453.163.2
200773.754.764.1
200873.154.563.7
200971.15462.5
20106953.461.1
201168.153.260.5
201267.852.860.1
201367.953.460.5
201467.752.660
201567.952.860.2
201667.853.660.6
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2.6 Ireland: Persons in employment by occupation, 2016
   000s%  
Broad occupational group2016% women  
MenWomenTotal  
Managers, directors and senior officials111.656.9168.533.8
Professionals156.1207.5363.657.1
Associate professional and technical135.697.2232.741.8
Administrative and secretarial41.3167.2208.580.2
Skilled trades289.431.7321.19.9
Caring, leisure and other services26.9136.6163.583.5
Sales and customer service60.2103.2163.463.2
Process, plant and machine operatives131.521.8153.314.2
Elementary127.293.8221.042.4
Other/not stated11.38.019.341.5
Total1,091.0923.92,014.945.9
 Source: CSO QNHS  

 

  • There were 923,900 women and 1,091,000 men in employment in Ireland in 2016.
  • More than a fifth (22.5%) of women in employment were in Professional occupations and just under a fifth (18.1%) were in Administrative and secretarial occupations.
  • Just over a quarter of men (26.5%) were in Skilled trades occupations while 14.3% were in Professional occupations.
  • In 2016 45.9% of those in employment were female. The vast majority (90.1%) of workers in Skilled trades were male while most workers (83.5%) in Caring, leisure and other services were female.
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2.7 Ireland and EU: Employment by economic sector, 2016
% in employment aged 15 & over
NACE sectorIrelandEU
MenWomen% womenMenWomen% women
AAgriculture, forestry and fishing9.51.410.85.33.133.5
B-EIndustry16.58.229.623.010.728.2
FConstruction11.80.96.411.21.49.7
GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles13.114.347.813.215.149.2
HTransportation and storage7.31.716.07.62.522.0
IAccommodation and food service activities6.08.755.24.15.754.1
JInformation and communication5.42.830.73.92.030.2
K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate activities4.55.752.03.44.250.8
MProfessional, scientific and technical activities6.15.342.65.55.746.9
N Administrative and support service activities3.53.546.14.14.448.0
OPublic administration and defence; compulsory social security4.75.951.46.77.147.5
P Education3.412.475.43.912.072.0
QHuman health and social work activities4.222.381.74.418.678.0
R-UOther NACE activities3.96.959.73.57.564.1
Total100.0100.045.8100.0100.045.9
Persons in employment (000s)11,091.0923.9 121,290.2102,998.4 
Source: Eurostat LFS, CSO QNHS
1NACE sector not stated is excluded from the Ireland and EU percentage breakdown but included in the total for persons in employment.

 

  • In 2016, just over one in three (34.7%) Irish women at work, and 30.6% of women at work in the EU, were in the education or health sector.
  • Wholesale and retail trade accounted for 14.3% of Irish women at work while 8.2% were at work in Industry.
  • About one in six (16.5%) Irish men was at work in Industry in 2016, while 13.1% were in the wholesale and retail trade sector and 11.8% were in construction.
  • The construction sector had the lowest proportion of women at work in Ireland, with men representating 93.6% of those at work in 2016.
  • The percentage of women employed in each economic sector in Ireland was broadly similar to the pattern in the EU, with the exception of agriculture, forestry and fishing where only 10.8% of those at work were women compared with 33.5% in the EU.
MaleFemale
Construction93.6449963476996.35500365230095
Agriculture, forestry and fishing89.175257731958810.8247422680412
Transportation and storage 83.983140147523716.0168598524763
Industry70.392156862745129.6078431372549
Information and communication69.303423848878430.6965761511216
Professional, scientific and technical activities57.391304347826142.6086956521739
Administrative and support service activities53.92296718972946.077032810271
Wholesale and retail trade52.151714077315847.8482859226842
Public administration and defence48.571428571428651.4285714285714
Financial, insurance and real estate activities48.031496062992151.9685039370079
Accommodation and food service activities44.818119423472955.1818805765271
Other NACE activities 40.281690140845159.7183098591549
Education24.585818422796675.4141815772034
Human health and social work activities18.286852589641481.7131474103586
Total54.17102445340945.828975546591
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2.8 Ireland: Employment by usual hours worked, 2006 and 2016  
  000s %
Usual hours worked20062016 20062016      
 MenWomenMenWomen MenWomenMenWomen
1-97.723.512.026.8 0.72.71.12.9
10-1920.484.237.791.6 1.79.83.59.9
20-2946.8169.268.4183.0 4.019.76.319.8
30-3421.056.327.779.7 1.86.52.58.6
35-39436.7333.6286.6285.7 37.238.826.330.9
40-44274.9111.7331.3153.8 23.413.030.416.6
45 and over192.830.8194.043.4 16.43.617.84.7
Varied & not stated173.951.7133.559.9 14.86.012.26.5
Total1,174.1860.91,091.0923.9 100.0100.0100.0100.0
Average hours per week40.431.839.731.7     
Source: CSO QNHS

 

  • Men worked fewer hours per week in paid employment in 2016 than in 2006, with the average hours worked per week dropping from 40.4 hours to 39.7 hours.
  • There was essentially no change in the hours worked by women in paid employment between 2006 and 2016, with 31.8 average hours worked by women in 2006 compared with 31.7 in 2016.
  • In 2016, close to three-quarters of men (74.4%) in employment worked for 35 hours or more a week compared with just over half (52.3%) of women.
  • The proportions of men and women working for 35-39 hours a week have dropped between 2006 and 2016 and there has been an increase in the proportions working for 40-44 hours a week.
  • In 2006 23.4% of men worked for 40-44 hours a week and this had risen to 30.4% by 2016 while the percentage of women working for 40-44 hours a week rose from 13% to 16.6% over the same time period.
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2.9 Ireland: Employment by marital status and usual hours worked, 2016
%
 SingleMarriedSeparated / divorced / widowed
Usual hours workedMenWomenMenWomenMenWomen
1-194.98.92.510.44.212.0
20-298.117.05.022.28.218.2
30-3929.438.628.940.421.938.7
40 and over44.025.650.718.148.021.7
Varied or not stated13.69.912.99.017.69.3
Total100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
Total persons (000s)405.0368.2643.6483.842.571.9
Source: CSO QNHS

 

  • In 2016 married men worked longer hours in paid employment than married women, with more than half of married men (50.7%) working for 40 or more hours per week compared with 18.1% of married women.
  • In contrast, 22.2% of married women worked for 20-29 hours per week compared with just 5% of married men.
  • Single men also worked longer hours in paid employment than single women in 2016, with 44% of single men working for 40 or more hours per week compared with 25.6% of single women.
Single menSingle womenMarried menMarried women
1-19 hours4.888888888888898.881042911461162.5015537600994410.3968582058702
20-29 hours8.0740740740740717.02878870179255.0031075201988822.1579164944192
30-39 hours29.432098765432138.593155893536128.868862647607240.4092600248036
40 hours and over44.049382716049425.55676262900650.714729645742718.0653162463828
Varied or not stated13.55555555555569.9402498642042412.91174642635188.97064902852418
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2.10 Ireland: Employment rates of couples (with/without children) and lone parents aged 20-44 by age of youngest child, 20161,2
employment rate
Family statusCouples and lone parents aged 20-44Couples aged 20-44Lone parents aged 20-44
MenWomenMenWomenMenWomen
No children89.185.789.185.7::
Youngest child aged 0-389.664.289.866.9*45.6
Youngest child aged 4-590.260.090.264.9*43.5
Youngest child aged 6 or over83.964.285.066.3[58.5]59.2
Total88.367.688.670.766.152.7
Source: CSO QNHS
1Estimates are not produced where there are less than 30 persons in a cell as estimates are too small to be considered reliable.
2Parentheses [ ] indicate there are 30-49 persons in a cell and these estimates are considered to have a wider margin of error and should be treated with caution.

 

  • The employment rate for women who were lone parents or were part of a couple and who were aged 20-44 years was 67.6%, well below the male rate of 88.3%.
  • The rate for women varied from 85.7% for women with no children to just 60% for women whose youngest child was aged between 4 and 5 years of age, a difference of 25.7 percentage points.
  • In contrast, the employment rate for men with no children was 89.1% while the rate for men whose youngest child was aged 6 or over was 83.9%.
  • Lone parents had lower employment rates than parents in couples.
  • Male lone parents whose youngest child was aged 6 or over had an employment rate of 58.5%, 26.5 percentage points lower than for a man in a couple.
  • The employment rate for female lone parents whose youngest child was aged 3 or under was 45.6% which was 21.3 percentage points lower than for a women in a couple.
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2.11 Ireland: Unemployment rates by age group, 2006 and 2016
%
Age group20062016
 MenWomenMenWomen
15-1914.317.925.524.1
20-248.17.918.914.3
25-345.03.911.37.2
35-443.43.58.16.6
45-543.73.18.25.2
55-593.42.88.83.8
60-641.51.27.05.2
65 and over0.40.01.62.2
Total4.74.69.87.1
   Source: CSO QNHS

 

  • The male rate of unemployment rose from 4.7% to 9.8% between 2006 and 2016 while the female rate rose from 4.6% to 7.1% over the same time period.
  • There were increases in all age groups with the most pronounced increases in younger age groups.
  • The rate of unemployment among men aged 15-19 rose from 14.3% in 2006 to 25.5% in 2016 while the female rate rose from 17.9% to 24.1%.
  • Among men aged 20-24 the unemployment rate rose from 8.1% in 2006 to 18.9% in 2016, while the rate for women increased from 7.9% to 14.3%.
  • The unemployment rate for both men and women decreased with age in both 2006 and 2016.
Men 2006Women 2006Men 2016Women 2016
Age 15-1914.317.925.524.1
Age 20-248.17.918.914.3
Age 25-3453.911.37.2
Age 35-443.43.58.16.6
Age 45-543.73.18.25.2
Age 55-593.42.88.83.8
Age 60-641.51.275.2
Aged 65 and over0.401.62.2
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2.12 Ireland: Unemployment rates and long-term unemployment rates, 2006-2016
      %
YearUnemployment ratesLong-term unemployment rates
 MenWomenAll personsMenWomenAll persons
20064.74.64.71.91.01.5
20074.94.64.81.81.01.4
20086.74.55.82.10.91.6
200915.48.312.34.01.52.9
201017.110.013.98.63.56.4
201117.810.614.610.84.98.2
201218.211.115.012.35.59.3
201315.911.413.910.35.38.1
201413.69.711.98.54.66.8
201511.18.29.86.83.95.5
20169.87.18.65.62.84.4
Source: CSO QNHS

 

  • The rate dropped to 15.9% in 2013 and continued to drop over the next three years to stand at 9.8% in 2016.
  • The unemployment rate for women has followed a similar pattern, averaging around 4.6% between 2006 and 2008 before rising to 8.3% in 2009.
  • The female rate of unemployment continued to rise over the following four years to stand at 11.4% in 2013.
  • In 2014 the rate declined to 9.7% and decreased again over the next two years to 7.1% in 2016.
  • The long-term unemployment rate (unemployed for one year or more) for Irish men was stable between 2006 and 2008 at about 2% but increased steadily over the following four years to 12.3% by 2012. The rate declined over the following four years to 5.6% in 2016.
  • The female long-term unemployment rate was about 1% between 2006 and 2009 before rising steadily over the next three years to 5.5% in 2012. The rate then decreased over the following four years to 2.8% in 2016.
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Open in Excel:
Ireland - MenIreland - WomenEU - MenEU - Women
20064.74.67.68.9
20074.94.66.67.8
20086.74.56.67.5
200915.48.38.98.8
201017.1109.69.5
201117.810.69.59.7
201218.211.110.410.5
201315.911.410.810.9
201413.69.710.110.3
201511.18.29.39.5
20169.87.18.48.7

 

  • The male unemployment rate was just under 5% in 2006 and 2007 and was below the EU male rate.
  • In 2008 the male rate of unemployment rose slightly to 6.7% and then climbed sharply to 15.4% in 2009 before increasing over the following three years to reach 18.2% in 2012.
  • In 2013 the rate of male unemployment fell to 15.9% and continued to decline over each of the following three years to stand at 9.8% in 2016.
  • The female rate of unemployment was less than 5% between 2006 and 2008 before rising to 8.3% in 2009.
  • In 2010 the female rate of unemployment in Ireland increased to 10% and rose over each of the following three years to peak at 11.4% in 2013. Since then the rate of female unemployment declined each year to stand at 7.1% in 2016.
  • The male and female rates of unemployment in Ireland were similar in 2006 and 2007 but by 2012 the male rate was 7.1 percentage points higher than the female rate.
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2.14 EU: Unemployment rates, 2016
 % of 15-74 age group
CountryMenWomenPercentage points gender differential
Germany4.43.70.7
Czech Republic3.44.7-1.3
United Kingdom4.94.70.2
Romania6.65.01.6
Hungary5.15.10
Malta4.45.2-0.8
Austria6.55.60.9
Estonia7.46.11.3
Poland6.16.2-0.1
Netherlands5.66.5-0.9
Denmark5.86.6-0.8
Luxembourg6.06.6-0.6
Sweden7.46.60.8
Lithuania9.16.72.4
Bulgaria8.17.01.1
Ireland9.87.12.7
Belgium8.17.60.5
Latvia10.98.42.5
Slovenia7.58.6-1.1
Finland9.08.60.4
EU 288.48.7-0.3
France10.29.90.3
Slovakia8.810.8-2
Portugal11.111.3-0.2
Italy10.912.8-1.9
Cyprus12.613.5-0.9
Croatia12.513.8-1.3
Spain18.121.4-3.3
Greece19.928.1-8.2
   
Iceland2.93.0-0.1
Norway5.43.91.5
Switzerland4.54.9-0.4
Turkey9.613.7-4.1
Macedonia24.422.81.6
Source: Eurostat LFS, CSO QNHS

 

  • In 2016 the female unemployment rate in Ireland, at 7.1%, was below the EU average of 8.7%.
  • The lowest rate of unemployment among women in the EU in 2016 was in Germany at 3.7% while the highest rate was in Greece at 28.1%.
  • The male rate of unemployment in Ireland was 9.8% and was the ninth highest in the EU, above the EU average of 8.4%.
  • The lowest rate of unemployment among men in the EU was 3.4% in the Czech Republic with the highest rate in Greece at 19.9%.
This map is © Ordnance Survey Ireland. All rights reserved. License number 01/05/001.
This map is © Ordnance Survey Ireland. All rights reserved. License number 01/05/001.
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2.15 Ireland: Persons in employment (ILO) aged 20-69 with a pension, 2009 and 2015
% of persons in employment aged 20-69
Age group20092015
MenWomenMenWomen   
20-2422.415.613.115.1 
25-3446.752.234.437.7
35-4460.654.153.957.0
45-5465.154.857.151.1 
55-6949.148.250.747.2
Total53.149.047.246.2
Source: CSO QNHS

 

  • In 2009 more than half (53.1%) of men in employment aged 20-69 had a pension but this had dropped to 47.2% by 2015.
  • Just under half of women (49%) in employment aged 20-69 had a pension in 2009 and this had dropped to 46.2% by 2015.
  • Workers aged 35 and over were more likely to have pension coverage. More than half of men aged 35 to 69 had a pension in 2015 compared to just over a third of men aged 25-34.
  • More than half of women aged 35 to 54 had pension coverage in 2015 compared to just 37.7% of women aged 25-34.
  • Pension coverage among young workers aged 20-24 was very low. Just 13% of males and 15% of female workers aged 20-24 had pension coverage in 2015.

 

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