Record number of women in work

The employment rate for women is at its highest since records began, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

More than two thirds (67.2 per cent) of working age women have jobs, which equates to more than 14 million people.

Employment Minister Esther McVey said:

"Record numbers of women are in work and youth unemployment continues to fall, which means more people have the security of a regular wage and can plan for their future."

ONS figures found that growth in overall employment also continued:

  • Employment grew by 193,000 in the three months to December 2013
  • Unemployment fell by 125,000 over the quarter
  • The number of young people in work increased by 49,000.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, warned that, although the figures are welcome, economic recovery is not yet guaranteed:

"These figures show that we have a strong and flexible labour market in the UK, with unemployment falling and employment rising. However, there are signs that the pace of improvement in the jobs market is slowing down. Although youth unemployment has fallen, the jobless level among 16-24 years olds still stands at 917,000, which is far too high. Many people are also still working part-time, as they are unable to gain full-time employment.

"The recovery is still fragile, and to place it on a sound footing the Chancellor should use next month's Budget to introduce further measures to boost growth and ensure that it is not choked off."