Women do worse while men do better – unemployment falls

Published on Wednesday, 18 April 2012 11:16
Posted by Scott Buckler

Analysis of today’s unemployment figures, by the think tank IPPR, shows that while unemployment has fallen for the first time in ten months, there are 8,000 more women unemployed and 27,000 more women out of work for more than a year

There are now more than a million women (1,136,000) unemployed, the highest since 1987 and a rise of 100,000 over the last year. Of those, over a quarter (29%) of women (327,795) have been unemployed for more than a year

Overall long term unemployment rose 26,000, the highest level since 1996, a total of 882,821. While 1,000 men have left long-term unemployment, there are now 27,000 more women out of work for more than a year. IPPR predicts there will be almost a million unemployed for more than a year by the end of this year.

While youth unemployment has fallen by 9,000, there are still more than a million (1,033,440) young people (aged 16-24) unemployed, the second highest since comparable records began in 1992. Of those, 263,000 young people (aged 16-24) have been unemployed for more than a year.

There has also been a rise in part-time work, which rose by 80,000 while the level of full-time employment fell by 27,000. There are now 1.4 million people working part-time because they say they cannot get longer hours.

Almost half a million (430,672) people over 50 are now unemployed, up 42,000 in the last year. More than 40 per cent of unemployed over fifties have been out of work for more than a year, up 13,000 over the last year to 189, 593.

Graeme Cooke, IPPR Associate Director, said:

 “The drop in unemployment and rise in employment revealed in today’s figures are the first glimmers of good labour market news for almost a year. But only last month, the Office of Budget Responsibility predicted that unemployment will rise this year and not peak until the end of the summer.

“There remain worrying trends underneath today’s positive headlines. The fall in the overall jobless count masks a continuing rise in female unemployment, now higher than at any point since 1987.

Long term unemployment continues to rise, reaching its highest level since 1996. There is a real risk that these people will struggle to take advantage of any upturn in the economy.

“The priority for the government must be to prevent long term unemployment, with a job guarantee, and to support women to get back to work, by prioritising childcare.”

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