Women's jobs set to grow

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Indy Politics
JOB prospects for women have improved over the past 20 years and will continue to do so beyond 2000, according to a report published by the Equal Opportunities Commission.

However, middle-class women with qualifications will do far better than those lower down the social scale. The increasing number of jobs available for working-class women will involve minimal skill

input and low wages.

The study, Labour Market Structures and Prospects for Women, written by some of the country's leading experts on employment issues, adds that women with professional qualifications will fail to get their hands on the levers of power in British companies. Their jobs will involve individual expertise, rather than key decision-making roles.

The report said that the new jobs which will be created in the next decade will tend to favour non-manual, white-collar, highly qualified, well-trained and highly skilled people. Flexibility will be seen as a key characteristic.

Part-time jobs and self-employment will continue to increase. By contrast, the number of jobs for full-time employees with blue-collar skills or for the unskilled will continue to decline. The commission warned that, because of increasing divorce rates and rising unemployment among men, women should not rely on a male partner's income It urges women to 'obtain and retain' better-quality full-time jobs themselves to secure an adequate income.

The principal source of income for most households remained the male partner's income. Women enjoyed only half as much independent earnings as men - pounds 99.87 per week compared to pounds 199.47.

Labour Market Structures and Prospects for Women; EOC Communications Unit, Overseas House, Quay Street, Manchester M3 3HN; pounds 14.95.