TUC warns of low-paid jobs recovery for women

Last year's jobs recovery meant an entry into low-paid, part-time work for many women


The TUC have warned today that behind the net growth in female employment in 2014 there is an increase in the number of women in low-paid jobs.

Analysis published ahead of the TUC’s annual Women’s Conference shows that while full-time employment accounted for all of the net growth in male employment last year, it accounted for just 47 per cent of net female jobs growth.

According to the TUC, women moving into part-time jobs in 2014 were typically on much lower pay rates than women moving into full time work. Over four-fifths of the net growth in women’s part-time employment last year was in jobs like clerical, caring and cleaning work.

The average hourly pay for women working part-time in administrative and clerical occupations in 2014 was £9.34 an hour, and for those working part-time in caring or cleaning it was just £8.12 and £6.70 an hour respectively.

Last week, Price Waterhouse Coopers revealed that the UK has the third lowest proportion if women in full-time work out of all 27 OECD countries.

The TUC’s analysis also shows that four in 10 new female full-time jobs were in ‘predominantly low-paid occupations’, and the TUC highlight the lack of well paid jobs for women who do not work full-time. They say that since the recession there has been a significant increase in the number of women moving into part-time jobs because they could not find full-time employment.

There are 300,000 more women working part-time who would like full-time employment than there was at the end of 2007. The number of involuntarily part-time workers has now begun to fall, but it is doing so at a much faster rate for men (-11.5 per cent) than for women (-5.5 per cent) in 2014.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“There is a big divide between women working full-time and those working part-time and far too many new jobs are in low-paid sectors. 

“A large number of part-time women are moving in to sectors like social care and cleaning where wages are low and contracts are often insecure.

“Unless we create better-paid part-time and flexible work opportunities, far too few women will see any real benefit from the recovery.”

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

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