Employment: British women more likely to work

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British women are more likely to have jobs than most of their European counterparts, according to new figures.

Just over 52 per cent of women in the UK work, as opposed to nearly 60 per cent of Swedish women, and 34 per cent of Italians. Across the EU, just under half the female population has a job, while 66 per cent of men work.

Nordic countries have the highest rates of employment for women and the smallest gaps between the sexes.

Italy, Spain, Greece, Luxembourg and Ireland are at the other end of the scale, according to the Statistical Office of the European communities.

British women are most likely to work after raising a family. The peak age for them to have a job is between the ages 40 and 44.

Women graduates are most likely to work, almost matching the male rate, when they are between 25 and 29, at 85 per cent.