More working mums staying in work

ONS figures show working mums are more likely to be in work than women without dependent children.

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The number of working mums now surpasses the number of women without dependent children in work, according to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

It says working mums’ employment rate now stands at 75.1%, compared with 70.6% for women without dependent children – a difference of 4.4 percentage points. Prior to 2008, the employment rate was generally higher for women without dependent children than for those with dependent children.

Between April to June 2019, the employment rate for women generally increased as the age of the youngest dependent child increased, from 67.5% where the youngest dependent child was aged 0 to 2 years, to 79.5% where the youngest dependent child was aged 16 to 18 years. The ONS says most mums work part time until the youngest dependent child is aged 11 to 15 years. For men, the employment rate remains relatively constant, regardless of the age of the youngest child.

The ONS also reports that the number of children living in workless households decreased by 93,000 or 0.8 percentage points, compared with 2018, to 1.2 million or 9.3% of all children. The number of children living in households where both parents or a single parent worked increased by 193,000 or 0.9 percentage points, compared with the previous year, to 7.7 million or 60.7% of all children.

Children in lone-parent families were more likely to be living in workless households (33.4%) than children living in couple households (3.5%) or other households (5.3%). Lone-parent families accounted for 68.8% of all children in workless households, says the ONS. However, the percentage of children in lone-parent families living in working households increased by 1.7 percentage points over the last year to 54.6%.

Nevertheless, the figures shows some entrenched unemployment issues. For instance, the number of children living in households where all members had never worked increased by 6,000 over the year to 210,000, which accounted for 1.7% of all children.



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