Belfast Telegraph

New report predicts rise in female jobless figures

By Alan Jones

Female unemployment in the UK is set to increase as private firms fail to create enough jobs to offset public sector cuts, a new report predicted today.

The IPPR think tank called on the Government to improve childcare arrangements, arguing that the high cost was preventing mothers returning to work.

The report, published ahead of the latest unemployment figures, said universal childcare paid for itself, with each mother returning to work part-time on an average wage netting the Treasury £4,860 over four years in additional tax revenue, rising to £20,050 for full-timers.

IPPR said said the employment rate for women with children in the UK was lower than most OECD countries, ranking 19th.

Last month's figures showed there were over a million women out of work, the highest total since 1988.

Nick Pearce, IPPR director, said: "It is far better for our economy to have people in work and paying taxes than at home claiming benefits.

"Women will return to work if we can re-start growth and give families access to free and high quality childcare."