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Record number of women in work

The number of women in employment has hit a record 14.6 million, with nearly one million more in work than five years ago. The stats hit the news as the government says it is delivering on its pledge to support getting people into jobs.

Current statistics show the UK’s employment rate is at a record 73.7% overall and wages are growing steadily. The government says it is fulfilling its promise to create a fairer welfare state where work pays and people are rewarded “for doing the right thing”.

The employment rate for women in the UK is now at 69% – the third highest of the G7 countries, behind Germany and Canada but ahead of the US, Japan, France and Italy.

Employment Minister Priti Patel says: “I believe passionately that women should have every opportunity to play a full and active role in the workplace, so I’m naturally delighted that the number of women in work has hit a record high.”

Overall, two million more people are in work than in 2010, bringing the total to 31.2 million. Over the same period, unemployment has dropped by 760,000, of which nearly 200,000 were women.

Family-friendly policies, such as offering 30 hours of free childcare for three and four-year-olds, have been designed to make it easier for people to move into work.

Minister for Women and Equalities Caroline Dinenage says: “This doesn’t mean we can stop and pat ourselves on the back. We need to continue to push this work forward. That’s why we will be requiring employers with at least 250 employees to publish gender pay gap and bonus information, reviewing how we can get more women into executive positions and ensuring that young women and girls are inspired and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”