More women are in work in Britain than ever before

Government announces increase of 800,000 in four years

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Indy Politics

Record numbers of women are now in the British workforce following an increase of nearly 800,000 over the last four years, George Osborne will announce today.

Two thirds of working-age women have jobs, well above the average in the major industrialised nations, according to new Treasury research, and the vast majority of the new posts are in highly-skilled occupations.

There are now 14.4m women in the workforce, a rise of 368,000 over the last year and 771,000 since 2010.

The female employment rate of 67 per cent compares with 63 per cent in the United States and 61 per cent in France, although Britain lags behind the German rate of 69.2 per cent. It compares with a male employment rate of 77.1 per cent.

Mr Osborne will today call for a drive to bring 450,000 more women into the workplace which would put Britain on a par with Germany.

The Chancellor will disclose that ministers are examining plans to increase the number of childcare places by up to 50,000 next year, potentially enabling more women to return to work.

He said: “The Treasury research shows women are playing an ever larger role in the economy, but it also makes clear there is more we can do to support women into work.”

The research discloses that 70 per cent of the increase in female employment since 2010 has been in full-time posts and that numbers of women with jobs in agriculture, manufacturing and construction has increased faster than numbers of men in those sectors.