Number of women in part-time jobs falls

Woman working part-time from home


The number of women in part-time jobs has continued to drop with more and more women taking full-time roles as unemployment falls, according to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics.

Unemployment fell by 0.2% on the previous quarter between June and September this year and now stands at 7.6%. Employment was up 0.3% on the previous quarter to 29.95 million. The inactivity rate, which includes stay at home mums, fell by 0.2% on the previous quarter.

While the number of men in full-time and part-time work increased and the number of women in full-time jobs rose by 68,000, the number of women in part-time posts fell by 22,000 to reach 5.94 million.

For July to September 2013, there were 1.46 million employees and self-employed people who were working part-time because they could not find a full-time job, the highest figure since records began in 1992. For July to September 2013, almost a third of male employees and self-employed people who were working part-time were doing so because they could not find a full-time job. The corresponding figure for women was 13.5%.

Between September and October 2013 the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) fell by 41,700 to reach 1.31 million, the lowest figure since January 2009. Between October 2012 and October 2013 the number of JSA claimants fell by 266,500, the largest annual fall since May 1998.

The figures also show that total pay, including bonuses, rose by 0.7% compared with July to September 2012. Regular pay rose by 0.8% over the same period.

Gerwyn Davies of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development said the figures showed the need for employers to focus on developing employee engagement and trust. He stated: “The jobs market continues to shine as we approach the New Year.  Increased vacancies, fewer redundancies, and a modest reduction in the unemployment rate offer further signs that the labour market is heading in the right direction. However, how long this good news will continue remains uncertain.

The CIPD’s own surveys indicate that demand for labour may soften in the medium-term, with fewer than one in five employers expecting to increase their head count by more than two per cent, even if they see stable economic growth of two per cent or more.  Once the current rises in employment have bedded down, we think employers are anticipating a greater focus on reversing the falls in productivity that resulted from lower than expected reductions in employment through the recession.  This will place an even greater onus on managers to maintain employee engagement and trust, which is essential if organisations are to get the best from their people.”

A survey published by Robert Half today shows that voluntary turnover is increasing, particularly in the South East, suggesting people are feeling more confident about the jobs market. Those employed in the public sector are most likely to tender their resignation, with half of respondents experiencing an increase in turnover compared to three years ago, says the recruitment consultancy.

According to the HR leaders interviewed, staff who are leaving are citing a lack of remuneration/recognition by their company as the primary reason for this increase, with small businesses and the public sector being worst affected.  Concern over company performance/fear of redundancies is the second highest reason for turnover, followed closely by poor work-life balance and boredom with their current role/company.


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