Women’s lost jobs pushing up unemployment figures

Job losses among women have pushed the unemployment figures for January up, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Job losses among women have pushed the unemployment figures for January up, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

While official figures show the number of men claiming unemployment benefit feel by 5,400 between December and January, the number of women claiming rose by 7,800, meaning the overall trend in unemployment is upwards.

The figures also show that in the three months to December the number of people in employment fell by 68,000. The number of employees working full-time increased by 66,000, but the number of employees working part-time fell by 62,000. This fall in part-time employees occurred entirely among women, says the ONS. The number of self-employed people fell by 49,000. The number of employees and self-employed people who were working part-time because they could not find a full-time job increased by 44,000, meaning there are now 1.19 million people who are involuntarily working part time, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.

The unemployment rate for the three months to December 2010 was 7.9 per cent, up 0.1 on the quarter. The total number of unemployed people increased by 44,000 over the quarter to reach 2.49 million. The unemployment rate for those aged from 16 to 24 increased by 1.5 on the quarter to reach 20.5 per cent, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992. The number of unemployed 16 to 24 year olds increased by 66,000 on the quarter to reach 965,000, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.

The figures also show that young people have been very hard hit by job losses. Over the latest quarter, total employment for those under 25 went down by over 90,000 while employment for those over 25 went up very slightly by 25,000. Unemployment for those under 25 went up by 66,000 while unemployment for those over 25 went down by 22,000.

Nigel Meager, Director of the Institute for Employment Studies, said: “The latest figures suggest yet again that any recovery in the private sector is still too weak to offset the intensifying job loss in the public sector. Overall employment levels continued to fall, while unemployment was up again. Public sector redundancies are already running at 40 per cent more than a year ago, and the recent spate of redundancy warnings means that this is bound to accelerate.”

“The figures again show the challenges faced by some groups of jobseekers. Long-term unemployment continues to rise, with 833,000 now out of work for more than a year.  Young people have been severely affected by the continuing low level of vacancies and the difficulties they face in competing with more experienced job-seekers. The disappearance of government programmes to help young unemployed, and the removal of the Education Maintenance Allowance, which encourages young people to remain in further education, will not have helped the situation. Being unemployed in their teens or twenties has an impact on young people’s entire working life, and policy-makers cannot afford to neglect this.”

Ian Brinkley, director of socio-economic programmes at The Work Foundation, said: “[Besides young people]the other major casualty of the contraction in the labour market has been women, almost certainly reflecting mounting job losses in the public sector and non-public providers of public services.
 
“The only crumb of comfort is that the levels of full-time employment have stabilised, with more jobs for full-time employees offset by falls in full-time employment for the self-employed. However, we will not be on the road to overall labour market recovery until we start to see full time jobs increase on a significant and sustained basis.”
 





Post a comment

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