Women, especially those on low pay, are firmly shut out of the economic recovery.
That’s the conclusion of a new report - The changing labour market 2: women, low pay and gender equality in the emerging recovery’, published by the Fawcett Society.
The key findings include:
Since the start of the crisis in 2008, almost a million (826,000) extra women have moved into types of work that are typically low paid and insecure. Since 2008, female under-employment has nearly doubled (to 789,000) and an additional 371,000 women have moved into self-employment, which is typically very low paid. 1 in 8 low paid women now describe themselves as on a zero hours contract.
The increasing levels of women in low paid work, along with the declining value of low pay, is contributing to the widening inequality gap between women and men. Last year the gender pay gap increased for the first time in five years and now stands at 19.1 per cent for all employees.
Low paid women are feeling the cost of living crisis sharply: nearly 1 in 2 say they feel worse off now than five years ago; nearly 1 in 10 have obtained a loan from a pay day lender in the last twelve months; nearly 1 in 12 low paid women with children have obtained food from a food bank in the past twelve months
This report is published on the same day as the Prime Minister announces that all government policies must pass the ‘family test’. You might therefore expect some action on the issues highlighted in the Fawcett Society report. You will be disappointed. The initiative focuses on age ratings for music videos and a throwing a few pennies at the counselling service Relate. Not a mention of the impact of welfare cuts on the family, the closure of sure start centres or the consequences of his austerity economics.
The Fawcett Society report sets out the harsh reality of a Britain the Prime Minister simply doesn’t understand.