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Number of working mothers up by 1.2m since 1996

The rate is 11.8% higher than in 1996.

The number of mothers in work in England has increased by 1.2 million over the past two decades, new figures show.

There are 4.9 million mothers with dependent children in employment, equivalent to a rate of 73.7%, said the Office for National Statistics.

The rate is 11.8% higher than in 1996, when the number of working mothers was 3.7 million.

The employment rate of mothers whose youngest child was aged three or four has risen markedly, up from 55.8% in 1997 to 65.1% in 2017, the data showed.

ONS statistician Emily Glastonbury said: “The continuing rise in the number of working mothers has been a major feature of the labour market in England in the last two decades.

“Reasons for this might include more flexible working practices, shared parental leave and changes to government policy on the availability of childcare.”

The research found that women with children aged between three and four years old had the lowest employment rate (65.1% in 2017), and were most likely to work part-time.

Mothers were more likely to be in full-time work when their youngest dependent child was aged 11 or over.

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