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The number of women claiming jobseeker’s allowance is higher than it has been since 1996, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Its employment figures for the three months to February show a small rise in employment rates and a slight drop in unemployment rates, but youth unemployment remains very high, with more than a fifth of young people out of work and 462,300 women are claiming jobseeker’s allowance.
Some 12,000 more young people under 25 were out of work than in the previous quarter, with unemployment among 16 and 17 year olds seeing the biggest rise.
The ONS says most of the new jobs created were full time positions. "The quarterly increase in employment was driven by full-time employment which increased by 140,000 on the quarter to reach 21.30 million. The number of men in full-time employment increased by 95,000 to reach 13.65 million and the number of women in full-time employment increased by 45,000 to reach 7.65 million," it says.
However, while the number of unemployed men fell by 31,000 on the quarter to reach 1.45 million, the number of unemployed women increased by 14,000 to reach 1.03 million.
Ian Brinkley, director of socio-economic programmes at The Work Foundation, said: “These are better figures than expected. The strong growth in full-time work is especially encouraging as this is a key indicator of sustained recovery. However, with the economy as a whole remaining weak, we cannot count on this good news continuing. And serious underlying structural problems remain, especially unemployment among young people and long-term unemployment among the over 50s which will persist for many months to come.”