Women in Wales most vulnerable to public sector job cuts

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date: 5 September 2011

embargo: For Immediate Release

Women in Wales most vulnerable to public sector job cuts

The Wales TUC is concerned that women's unemployment is set to rise as the UK Government's public sector job cuts begin to bite.

An analysis of official figures released today shows that over the last ten years the proportion of women working in the public sector in Wales has risen by 3%. There are now around 37,000 more women nationally working in public service jobs in Wales such as teaching, nursing and local government than a decade ago.

At 41% Wales has the highest proportion of women working in the public sector of any area in Britain, 7 per cent more than in England (34 per cent).

The public sector in Wales has led employment growth in recent years, in part as a result of the downturn. Public sector employment also plays an important role for men, with far higher proportions employed as public servants in Wales than in England.

Wales TUC National Officer Julie Cook said:

'With so many women employed in the public sector in Wales, job cuts will just add thousands of women to the dole queue.'

'The rising number of women in work has been a great success story of the last decade. But as childcare and child benefits are cut, vital services pared back and women's job losses mount we risk moving backwards and reducing, rather than improving, women's opportunities in the workplace.'

'Cuts have started affecting the public sector, and we know the pain is already being felt in the areas where public sector employment is more concentrated.

'Some areas of the northern Valleys have 21 people in the dole queue for every available job vacancy and with private sector growth stalling there is nowhere for those made redundant to find new work.'

The Wales TUC is calling on the UK government to think again about its spending cuts. Our economy simply can't afford to lose a decade of social progress.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

The TUC analysis is available at www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/71/publicprivate.xls and www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/70/GENDERREGIONPUBLICANDPRIVATE.xls

Contact:

Media enquiries: Christopher Hartwell t: 029 2034 7010 e: chartwell@tuc.org.uk

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