Women are missing out on the new jobs being created under the Coalition as the labour market returns to being male-dominated, according to a study published today.
Progress for women in the world of work over the past 50 years could be lost as men land 60 per cent of the new private sector jobs and women are hit hardest by public sector job cuts, warned the Fawcett Society, which campaigns for women’s equality and rights.
Unemployment among women has risen since the recession ended, even though it has fallen among men. Almost three times as many women (103,000) as men (37,000) have become long term unemployed in the past two and a half years. On a worst case scenario, the current trends could see 1.48m women jobless by 2018.
According to the study, the outlook for women is “bleak”, with those who do secure private sector jobs likely to face lower wages and a wider gender pay gap.
Ceri Goddard, the society’s chief executive, said: “If the Government doesn’t address this growing problem, we risk returning to a much more male dominated labour market, with record numbers of women unemployed, those in work typically earning less, and the gap in pay between women and men beginning to grow instead of shrink.”
She added: “If women continue to make up the majority of those that lose their jobs, but the minority of those being hired in new roles, the strides women have made in the workplace in the last half a century risk being undermined just when women, the families many of them support, and our economy need them more than ever.”