Women bearing brunt of job losses – IPPR

More than one in four women unemployed in the UK have been out of work for more than a year and some are being pushed out of the workforce due to cuts in childcare support, according to analysis by thinktank IPPR.

More than one in four women unemployed in the UK have been out of work for more than a year and some are being pushed out of the workforce due to cuts in childcare support, according to analysis by thinktank IPPR.

It is calling for universal childcare support to encourage full employment.

Total unemployment has slightly fallen over the last year, but the number of women unemployed has risen, says the IPPR. The number of people unemployed in the UK is 2.45 milion (down by just 20,000 since last year), of whom 1.026 million are women (up 42,000 since last year), with 268,000 (up 15,000 since last year) of them out of work for over 12 months.

IPPR analysis shows that women’s position in the labour market is becoming increasingly insecure. More than 40 per cent of redundancies in the last quarter were among women, up from just over 30 per cent. IPPR analysis shows that cuts to public sector jobs are disproportionately affecting women. Over the last year, employment in the private sector has increased by 520,000 but employment in the public sector is down by 143,000. The official classification of ‘public administration, health and education’ is the only broad sector of the economy where more women than men are employed.

Dalia Ben-Galim, IPPR Associate Director, said: “During the recession, unemployment among men increased much more than among women. But our analysis of the latest figures show that this experience is now being reversed, in large part because of the government’s public spending cuts.

“Behind the headline unemployment figures, more people are experiencing long spells out of work and long-term unemployment is rising steeply. Women are increasingly joining the ranks of the long-term unemployed and the prospects for female employment are likely to remain gloomy for some time to come. Cuts to childcare tax credits mean that for some women, work no longer pays and they are better off staying at home.

“Being out of work for more than a year can have a scarring affect, making it harder to get a job as well as having a negative impact on one’s health and wellbeing. The government should ensure that everyone who has been out of work for a year should be guaranteed a minimum wage job.” 

Research evidence shows that being unemployed for one year or more can reduce chances of finding work, as well as having a negative impact on one’s health and wellbeing.

The OECD says that the UK has some of the most expensive childcare in the world. The average cost of childcare is £97 a week (for 25 hours) with costs in London and the South East rising to an average of £115 a week. Changes to the child care element of the working tax credit mean that childcare costs are rising. The Resolution Foundation has shown that the average family has lost £436 a year, with some losing up to £1,300, because of the cut from 80 to 70 per cent in the cost of care that parents can claim since April. A second earner on average earnings in the UK loses 32 pence of every additional pound earned in taxes and lost benefits.

The IPPR is calling for fundamental reform of the welfare state to guarantee everyone out of work for more than a year a job on the national minimum wage. The ‘job guarantee’ would mean people refusing to take work after a year of unemployment would lose their benefits. IPPR also wants a reformed welfare state to provide universal childcare to parents of all children to encourage full employment.





Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *