EMPLOYMENT: Women face pay discrimination

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Women are out of work for shorter stretches of time than men, but still suffer from pay inequality, an official report claimed yesterday. One- third of unemployed women have been jobless for less than three months, compared with 22 per cent of men.

Around 28 per cent of women have been out of work for longer than a year, well below the 45 per cent of long-term unemployed men, according to Labour Market Trends, produced by the Office for National Statistics.

The average hourly wage for full-time women workers is pounds 7 - 80 per cent of that for men (pounds 8.75). Part-time earnings are roughly the same for both sexes, at just over pounds 5 an hour.

The number of women with jobs has increased by 1.3 million in the last decade. Half of those are part-time workers. Overall, women form an increasing proportion of the workforce, representing more than 43 per cent last year, the report said.