A recent report has highlighted that behind the headline unemployment figures, women are suffering more than men. Figures show that the rate of unemployment among women rose 34 per cent, compared to 21 per cent among men.
This is having a serious impact on many households. This is particularly so in single parent families, families where the woman is the main bread winner or simply where her income makes an important contribution to the household finances. Many more women are working than ever before and 40 per cent of them are part-time, and these jobs are often the first to be cut.
According to the report, “Women and Recession” published by the Trades Union Congress
• Jobs losses are happening right across the economy, not just in male-dominated industries. In previous recessions, areas such as manufacturing, mining and steel saw most suffering, this is not the case here. Women form a large percentage of employees in the service sector which has been particularly badly hit. This includes retail, catering, restaurants and nursing & social care.
• More women are at work now than in previous recessions in the past 60 years.
• More people depend solely or primarily on women’s wages. A quarter of all UK households are single parent families.
TUC officers fear if more recent trends continue – in which women’s job losses have accelerated in sectors such as finance, banking and retail – then things could get far worse. In the North West region, women’s unemployment is already almost double the rate of men.