Graduate Blog

Research Suggests a ‘Female Unfriendly’ Jobs Market in the UK


New research has revealed that unemployment for males is decreasing whilst unemployment for females could reach a 25-year high. Produced by equality campaigners, the Fawcett Society, the survey suggests that of all the new private sector jobs, two out of three have been given to men.

The Fawcett Society campaign for women’s equality on politics, pensions, pay and justice and their latest research warns that there could be ‘persistent and rising levels’ of unemployment for women, lowered pay levels and a continued widening of the pay gap between males and females.

In the last two and a half years, three times the number of women (103,000) are now classed as long-term unemployed compared to men (37,000).

The study also goes on to suggest that within the public-sector cuts women have come out worse which could assist in the predicted record high of 1.48million of women unemployed by 2018. Since 2010 the private sector has seen 1,254,000 new job posts with women filling 40% of these roles and men 60%.

With 75% of cuts within the public sector still predicted to come, by 2018 929,000 jobs could potentially be lost, with 230,000 having already been lost. Of these 230,000 lost roles women made up 57.5% of these, which suggests that if the trend continues 400,000 more women could be losing their jobs during the next four years.

At the end of 2010 when the initial recession was officially at an end, the number of men in unemployment was 1,525,000. Since then it has fallen to 1,413,000 (7.33%). However, during this same time scale women’s unemployment levels have grown from 962,000 to 1,076,000 (11.88%).

Speaking about the report, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, Ceri Goddard commented: “While unemployment has fallen overall, our research shows that the situation for women is bleak. Female unemployment has started to rise – and this will continue unless the government does more than tinker around the edges of this issue.

“The government’s various plans for growth continue to leave many women behind, with the majority of new jobs being created in the private sector going to men. At the same time, those women who do find work in this sector are likely to face lower wages and a wider gender pay gap.

“This ‘head-in-the-sand’ approach ignores the fact that women are now nearly half the workforce – and has serious consequences.

“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. Not only is this bad for women, it’s hugely damaging for our economy. We are calling on the government to take immediate action.”


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