As UK unemployment figures fall, it seems like women are driving the recovery. A record number of women in the UK are in employment, full-time and part-time. We examine this fascinating development …
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has reported a fall in UK unemployment numbers by 125,000.
Counting to December 2013, ONS noted that 2.34 million UK residents were employed. This drop represents a significant improvement from the numbers published in September 2013.
The biggest note to come out of this study is the rise of women’s participation across all industries. Women’s employment rate now stands at 67%, the highest percentage in history since employment records have been kept.
Women now constitute 46% of the United Kingdom’s workforce. This proportion represents the highest rates of employment participation from women as a percentage since the start of record-keeping.
Beverley Stewart, LSBF’s Group Operations Director, said, “It is great to see women having the opportunity to contribute more to society through increased participation in the workplace. This natural progression to equality should most definitely be viewed as a positive development, and is refreshing to see.”
UK showing overall job market growth
The ONS study also indicates that the overall unemployment rate in the UK has decreased to 7.2% in December. This rate is significantly lower than the 7.6% unemployment rate recorded in September 2013.
The growth in the UK graduate job market and the increase in finance sector recruitment have played a strong part in this recovery. With more opportunities for work, both young graduates and established professionals are finding themselves become more employable.
Nadim Choudhury, LSBF’s Head of Career Services & Employability, noted, “This is great news for young people. There has been a large decline in unemployment for 18- 24 year olds – this category would include graduates who have recently finished university too. It is also a good sign for graduate 2014 summer recruitment and autumn recruitment schedules.”
The total number of women employed full-time rose to a record 8.09 million, a rise of 122,000 over the three months to December. Similarly, the number of women in part-time employment fell by 28,000 to 5.91 million. The overall numbers for both full-time and part-time employment among men registered a rise.
Amy Gadsby, LSBF’s Head of Human Resources, said, “It is fantastic news that women now account for 46% of the workforce in the UK. It is also noteworthy that so many women are now taking on full-time roles within businesses.”
“I think a significant contributor here has to be the government’s review of Family Friendly Policies, including shared maternity provisions. Additionally, we also have to acknowledge that there is a culture shift taking place, amongst both men and women, in relation to perceived roles of, and restrictions on, women within the workplace,” added Ms Gadsby.
These ONS figures are statistics only till December 2013, and with better recruitment forecasts in place for early 2014, the job-market is certainly on its way up.
As these statistics confirm, one thing is for certain. It is indisputable that women are spearheading this employment boom in the UK.
<Principal image courtesy DonkeyHotey/Some rights reserved>
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