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Wednesday 18th July 2012 | 16:46
Responding to the today’s Labour Market Statistics, Yvette Cooper MP Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities said:
"Women in their fifties and sixties are being stretched in all directions - holding families and communities together. They are the ‘stretched middle’ – a middle generation of women, who are struggling like never before to
provide care and support for their families at both ends of the age spectrum.
"But today’s figures show that older women are also facing steep increases in long term unemployment too - with a 41 per cent increase over the last year alone. In comparison, long term unemployment amongst men in their
fifties and sixties has decreased by 10.5 per cent.
"Women in their fifties and sixties also face a bigger gender pay gap and their pensions have been the hardest hit of all by the sudden increases in the state pension age, which they have had little time to prepare for.
"The Government seems to be completely blind to the pressures faced by this generation of women. Women in the stretched middle are being hit hard and it’s time their voices were heard."
· For women in the stretched middle (aged 50-64) unemployment is up 17.9 per cent over the last year – three times more than unemployment amongst all people aged 16 and over (which increased by 5.4%). In comparison, men’s unemployment in the same age group reduced by 4.2 per cent in the last year. (However, over the quarter, the stretched middle unemployment rate reduced by 5.5 per cent, which was higher than any other ‘all people’ age category).
· With a 41.4 per cent in long term unemployment over the last year, women in the stretched middle have faced higher increases in long term unemployment levels than any other age group or category, and the number of 50+ women who have been out of work for more than two years has increased by 42.3% in the last year alone
again, a bigger increase than any other age group or category.
· In comparison, the number of 50+ men in long-term unemployment decreased by 10.5% over the same period.