North East women the worst affected by recession and government cuts in Great Britain

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English

date: 15 August 2011

embargo: 00:01hrs Tuesday 16 August 2011

As the jobs gap grows ever wider, it is once again the North East who is bearing the national brunt of the global economic crisis, compounded by crude and counter-productive public spending cuts. Based on statistics from December 2007 to April 2011 the number of women in employment in the region has decreased by 5.09 per cent - the highest figure in Great Britain.

More shockingly, despite a month on month increase in the previous year, the arrival of the coalition government in June 2010 saw the female employment figure drop dramatically, recording 34,000 losses to April 2011 alone; 1,000 lower than at its worst during the recession.

The percentage drop for the North East is almost two and a half times higher than any other region in England (the East at 2.09 per cent) and London has actually recorded a rise in female employment of over four per cent.

Campaign organisations, public sector bodies and trade unions fear worse is to come for the region as these figures only reach up to the start of the current financial year, when the majority of cuts are set to bite. One in three of all jobs in the North East are in the public sector and two thirds of those employed in the public sector are female. Women are also more reliant on the public services that will be cut as a result of decreasing budgets and workers so the disproportionate effect of the cuts is exacerbated further.

Northern TUC Policy and campaigns Officer Neil Foster said: 'These figures are further proof that the coalition government's disastrous economic policies increasingly hit those who did the least to cause the banking crash.

'It is both ethically wrong and economically absurd that the livelihoods of 34,000 North East women have been sacrificed to pay for a crisis not of their making. We fear this number will rise even higher as George Osborne's cuts deepen and destroy public and voluntary sector jobs.

'Instead the government should support a fair and viable Robin Hood Tax on the banks to raise £20 billion and crack down on tax avoiders who cost the country £40 billion a year. They could reverse their VAT rise which has increased the cost of living and reduced consumer confidence. Most of all they should develop an alternative plan for jobs and growth and give people their livelihoods back.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- All female employment figures for this period are attached. Figures for male employment and combined figures are also available upon request.

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

Contacts:

Media enquiries:

Neil Foster T: 0191 227 5554 M: 07787617972 E: nfoster@tuc.org.uk

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