Business leaders are calling for the female workforce in Wales to be recognised, as they feel the full force of the economic downturn. Female unemployment figures in Wales have increased by 27.1 percent. For the period August 2011 to October 2011, the total number of Welsh women unemployed over the age of 16 was 49,000, an increase of 8.9 percent on the same period in 2010. In stark contrast, unemployment of Welsh men rose by only 5.2 percent year on year.
Official figures recently released by the Department for Work and Pensions, revealed that the total number of unemployed people in Wales has soared by 11,000 just in the last quarter. In addition, it revealed that UK unemployment exceeds 2.64 million, a new 17 year high. Wales has an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, with 133,000 not having a job although the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance has fallen.
The statistics have sparked fears that women are bearing the brunt of the weak economy, leading experts in employment to call for development of understanding of female contribution to the workforce.
Professor of governance at the University of Liverpool, Laura McAllister believes that a large number of the women who now face unemployment may have previously been the main earner in a household. She also stated that it is crucial for people to stop believing that women are only second earners in a household. Women are also affected by taking on responsibilities as the main carer at home. Improved childcare facilities and flexible working will help women get back into work.
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