Employment and Skills, Jobs

Chris Grayling incorrect regarding female employment figures.

Chris Grayling incorrect regarding female employment figures.

Chris Grayling has claimed that the ‘economic inactivity’ among women was decreasing due to “stay at home” mothers starting to look for work. The minister’s based his declaration on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures which show a 71,000 drop in female economic inactivity last year.

Employment Minister however may have drawn his conclusions too quickly. The ONS statistics divide economic inactivity amongst women into three categories: 16-17, 18-49 and 50-64 year olds. It appears that the 50-64 year olds category has seen a decrease of 63,000, so far the biggest drop out in woman economic inactivity, are more likely to be grand-mothers rather than mothers. Inactivity amongst women aged between 16 and 17 years old also dropped by 10,000 in the last year. Even with a high rate of teenage pregnancy in the UK, the 16-17 years olds are probably not the group Mr Grayling was targeting when he was talking about “stay at home” mothers. The category of the 18-49 years old which represents the age where most women have young children, has registered a rise of 3,000 inactive women.

Consequently, nearly 90% of the drop in female economic inactivity is due to 50-64 year olds returning to work, probably the result of rears that their pension is not enough. Chris Grayling affirmation that the increase in female employment is the result of stay at home mums returning to work is incorrect.

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