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To be genuinely surprised by low figures on women and employment

(28 Posts)
windygallows Fri 03-Feb-17 14:01:03

Recently had to search out some ONS stats on women and employment and was really surprised by the figures. The most recent stats (2013) show that 33% of women age 16-64 are not in employment. Can that honestly be the case?? 1/3 of adult women not in the labour market??

Apparently (as of 2013) 28% of women are in part-time employment and 39% in full time employment- which means 67% of women are employed, but that's not a massively huge jump from 1971 when the figure was 53%.

Honestly thought it would be more and despite all the hoohah in the 70s/80s/90s and women moving into the workforce, I don't think the shift from 53% to 67% is that significant.

Plus do only 40% of women work FT?

Sorry wasn't sure where to post this hence AIBU just was hoping for some discussion/thoughts.

windygallows Fri 03-Feb-17 14:01:28

Oops - and here is the stats:

BarbaraofSeville Fri 03-Feb-17 14:03:38

Admittedly I CBA to look myself, but does the 33% include the women aged 16-21 ish that may be in full time education? That would be quite a big percentage of the non workers or part time workers?

LoneCat Fri 03-Feb-17 14:17:22

There's something else going on though.

It looks like less people in this age group are in work in general.

In 70s 92% of men worked. This has now gone down to 76%. So about a quarter of men also not in labour market now.

Difference between men and women in 70s: 92% and 53%
And 76% and 67% now.

So the gap between men and women has shrunk quite significantly.

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Fri 03-Feb-17 14:19:04

Wow, that definitely is surprising although the figure for men is 76% which feels lower than I'd expect too.

PacificDogwod Fri 03-Feb-17 14:20:26

YABU to be surprised.
Why do you find it surprising?
Genuine question.

I am (technically) self-employed, and (technically) part-time which equates to 40-50hrs/wk.
My DH is employed, works 50-80/hrs/week.
We have children.
And a house/dog/elderly relatives/other crap going on.

Unless, the payment gap between men and women, and the social expectation of caring roles changes double-quick, I think this difference will remain for some time to come.

CrohnicallyPregnant Fri 03-Feb-17 14:20:44

It looks like it- employment rates from the link are very low in the teen years and rapidly rise. It also includes people who have retired early, returned to full time education or are long term sick/disabled as 'not in employment'

The thing is, at the same time employment rates for men have decreased by around 20%- the same overall proportion of people seem to be in employment but it's a more even split between men and women. Which is probably why it doesn't 'look' like 1/3 women are out of work- the number of families with the stereotypical man at work and woman at home has reduced.

SilverdaleGlen Fri 03-Feb-17 14:21:15

I'm more shocked by the number of men dropping out of the labour market! No wonder we have a lack of pride in ourselves and the social issues that causes.

CrohnicallyPregnant Fri 03-Feb-17 14:21:35

That was to barbara - it looks like the unemployed figure includes teens in full time education.

PacificDogwod Fri 03-Feb-17 14:23:06

It is my understanding that many parttime, low paid jobs that 'traditionally' were filled by women are now taken up by men (who are unable to find full-time employment).
A friend's 16 yo DD was looking for part-time work before Christmas (New Look, McDonald's and the likes) and was put through a rather vigorous interview process, all for 8 hrs/wk for 4 weeks hmm - she said many of the other applicants were much older than her, desperate for any work, not just a bit of pocket money like what she was aiming for.

We live in hard times.

MsUnderstanding Fri 03-Feb-17 14:30:36

pacific how are your hours PT? I thought anything around 35hrs percent +was considered FT?

The figures are explained in more detail on the ONS website here

Camomila Fri 03-Feb-17 14:39:36

I don't think it's that low tbh...take a chunk of students (16-25 if you include postgrads), a chunk of SAHMs (25-40ish), and a few older 'housewives' (50+ ladies who stopped working when they had the children, now do a bit of volunteering etc.) and I can see it adding the chronically ill/disabled.

SpookyPotato Fri 03-Feb-17 15:14:18

^^ I think Camomila explains it well. There are lots of SAHMs, people in education until 22, women who retired early. I don't know many women over 60 who work.

PacificDogwod Fri 03-Feb-17 15:25:24

I am 2/3 partner in a GP practice.
There is no such thing as 'contracted hours'.

I see more and more people over 60/65/68 who work - some by choice, some by necessity. Men and women.

caroldecker Fri 03-Feb-17 15:31:23

Women's retirement age was 60 and is now 62. 16-64 covers 48 years, but 9 of those (16-21 and 60-64) are full time education are retired. That covers 20% of the numbers.

treaclesoda Fri 03-Feb-17 15:34:45

Where I live I know hardly any women who work full time after they have children. On fact, off the top of my head I can't think of a single child at my children's primary school who has a mother who works full time.

CommonSenseIsNotAllThatCommon Fri 03-Feb-17 15:43:48

Women are also more likely to be carers for elderly or ill relatives.

mirime Fri 03-Feb-17 16:30:42

I'm the only mother I know who hasn't either reduced hours or become SAHM, so it's maybe not that surprising.

OdinsLoveChild Fri 03-Feb-17 16:43:15

My mil has never worked. She is in her early 60's. My dm always worked part time and never went full time, she is also early 60's.
I found childcare too expensive especially for my SEN child so I've been a sahm for almost 15 years. I can only think of maybe half a dozen mums at school who work full time or at all.
I would have been more surprised if a higher percentage of women worked full time.

SheldonCRules Fri 03-Feb-17 16:52:55

It's disheartening, teachers spend their days educating girls and telling them they can achieve whatever they set their hearts on yet such a high percentage don't work. It's little wonder there is still not equality in the workplace.

PacificDogwod Fri 03-Feb-17 17:00:17

I don't see it as a 'large proportion of women not working/not working full-time'.
It is 'a large proportion of women still providing the bulk of childcare/elderly relatives' care/other dependents' care' IMO + not enough jobs that are compatible with all the other roles we are meant to fulfil.

I think it is an interesting statistic, but as with all statistics open to all sorts of interpretations.
You know "Real lies, white lies and statistics" grin

PacificDogwod Fri 03-Feb-17 17:02:43

My mother did not return to work after she had me.
She worked very hard all her live, but never for a wage or a pension plan or anything that would be seen as 'work' by those numbers hmmangry

I wonder if all women went to work full-time where are all the carers going to come from??
Or if men had to provide more care would being a SAHP/carer for older parent or even <gasp> paid care provider (nursery teacher, care home carer, nurse etc) suddenly become a job with more kudos and pay??

Just sayin'.

<gets off soap box>

PacificDogwod Fri 03-Feb-17 17:03:00



Man10 Fri 03-Feb-17 17:16:00

So looking at stats, men 92% down to 76%, a 16% drop. Women up from 53% to 67%, a 14% rise. So there's been no virtually no overall change in the percentage of people in work, but women have replaced men?

WhereDoesThisRoadGo Fri 03-Feb-17 17:20:47

Not sure I find this surprising. Of the two genders, females are more likely to be part time or unemployed for reasons not related to not being able to find a job. Disability/stress, bringing up children, don't have to work because partner earns enough, etc. I am not sure how I feel about it. But it is what it is.

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