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Job squeeze hits women the hardest, warns Lucy

IMG_8770b_recropped2.jpg.ashx.jpgManchester Evening News:

The number of women out of work in Greater Manchester has risen by almost A THIRD in two years.

There are now a total of 25,844 women in the region claiming out of work benefits – up 29 per cent since May 2010.

By contrast the number of men out of work has risen by just 3 per cent in the same period, according to the Office for National Statistics figures, obtained from the House of Commons Library.

Oldham has seen the biggest rise with a 50pc increase in the number of women unemployed compared to two years ago.

Across Greater Manchester, there are now 84,432 people (both men and women) out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – a 9pc increase on May 2010.

The latest unemployment figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the region has enjoyed a slight month-on-month decline, with around 1,500 fewer people searching for a job than in April.

The male/ female breakdown was obtained by Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Manchester Central, Lucy Powell, who will stand for election as the city’s next MP in November.

She said: “The rise in women’s unemployment is massively disproportionate and women and families are paying a much bigger price for the economic situation the country is in.”

There are fears that government changes to working tax credits, which mean that couples are only eligible for financial support if they work a combined 24 hours a week, will make the situation worse by making it cheaper for women to opt out of work and stay at home.

The changes, introduced in April, will affect just under 12,000 families in Greater Manchester who will lose up to £4,000-a-year. Thousands more will lose the £545 child tax credit family element.

Ms Powell said: “There are nearly 6,000 more women unemployed than two years ago and needing benefits – that’s costing the taxpayer a lot more than is being saved. A lot of women are opting out of the labour market because the cost of going to work for many mums is now just beyond them.

“They are being hit with the double whammy of huge increases in childcare costs because the government is stripping away support and losing £4,000 in tax credits for the lowest paid families.

That’s a whole generation of women opting out of the labour market.”

Read more at: http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1581703_jobs-squeeze-hits-women-the-hardest

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