Women over 50 hardest hit by austerity measures as their unemployment rises faster than any other group

| September 29, 2012 | 0 Comments

  • Middle-aged face 31 per cent rise since 2010 compared with an increase overall of 4 per cent for the rest of UK

Daily Mail Reporter

06:26 EST, 29 September 2012


06:26 EST, 29 September 2012

Older women are being hit hardest by the government’s austerity policies, research carried out by the Labour party claims.

Women over 50 make up the greatest proportion of an increase in the number of long-term unemployed since the coalition came to power two and a half years ago, the research found.

The blame lies with swingeing cuts to local authority budgets and the burden of dealing with the increasing life expectancy of their parents, the Guardian reported today.

Office colleagues: Women have paid a big price for the coalition cuts since 2010

Office colleagues: Women have paid a big price for the coalition cuts since 2010

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, told the newspaper that this generation of women were caught between caring for elderly parents and grandchildren and suffering from outdated workplace practices.

Help for women: Yvette Cooper blames outdated workplace practices for contributing to jobless among middle-aged women

Help for women: Yvette Cooper blames outdated workplace practices for contributing to jobless among middle-aged women

Ms Cooper said that ‘a toxic combination of sexism is causing problems for this generation’.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that since May 2010, unemployment among women aged 50-64 has increased 31 per cent to 142,000, compared with an overall increase of unemployment of 4.2 per cent to 2.6million.

The Labour party is to announce a social care information service today as part of the launch of a special older woman’s commission which will be chaired by deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman.

Ms Cooper said: ‘This is really a first step for women who don’t even know where to go for help.

‘They may have a mum in Bolton who increasingly needs help and support and they may live somewhere else and have no idea what to do.’

Since the cuts began in 2010, unemployment among men aged over 50 has hardly changed despite the overall increase in the jobless figures.

The newspaper reported that the number of long-term unemployed had increased by 105,000 to 904,000 – of which there were 82,000 women (78 per cent).

Last week, a poll for the Huffington Post revealed that the Tories were 22 per cent behind Labour on looking after women’s interests.

Tory support on women’s issues slipped among both men and women.

The result followed criticism of Prime Minister David Cameron after the number of full women Cabinet members fell from five to four in his reshuffle.


The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Yeah of course they are let me guess you want it made into law that all workplaces have to have a middle aged woman working there, Don’t be so foolish the people who are unemployed the most are white working class males aged between 18-30 but that wouldn’t suit the DMs feminist agenda would it.


North-West, United Kingdom,
29/9/2012 15:14

I am surprised that older women are in this situation. I would have thought that firms would rather employ them than young women who will probably go on maternity leave with all the problems that is involved with that


Hornchurch Essex,
29/9/2012 14:25

“Ms Cooper said: ‘This is really a first step for women who don’t even know where to go for help.”. Please. Don’t make me laugh. If, and when you do find “where to go for help” you are treated with abject contempt. Try being a widow in your 50s. Then, you are treated not only with contempt but as if you are a non-person too. Get a job? I’d LOVE a job – any job but as soon as would-be employers work out your age from your CV (even though it is illegal to ask your age they usually know straight away by looking at the part of the CV on your education) they won’t even give you the chance of an interview. Benefits? Forget them. If you have a small pension that is 1p over £71, you won’t get any. Try paying rent, council tax, gas, electric etc., out of that. Ms Cooper has a cheek. It was her government that did away with the Widow’s Pension and replaced it with Bereavement Benefit which only lasts for 1 year. Widows over 50 years old get a raw deal.


29/9/2012 14:19

And most of us won’t even be on the official statistics, as we had a low-paid part-time job that we didn’t pay NI on, so can’t get JSA, so didn’t bother signing on. I’ve been unemployed for 2 and a half years now, and can’t draw my pension for another four and a half years (thanks to the increase in the pension age). I’m not even getting interviews for jobs now, when I can find one to apply for. And yet I have many years left of ability to work, plus IT skills that plenty of people half my age are envious of.


Wherever, United Kingdom,
29/9/2012 13:54

Most public service office workers are women in their 40’s – 50′, now ask me if I’m surprised by the headline given that this is where the cuts must be applied if we are to cut costs whilst retaining front line workers. Time to leave the mountains of self gerenerated paperwork and newly replaced PC’s behind, get out of the office ladies . . . you can start by filling in some pot-holes, there’s no shortage of them!

Pensioner Pete

29/9/2012 13:53

The article says that the increase in older womens’ unemployment is a result of the cuts to local authority budgets. There is another reason and that is due to the number of retail outlets closing that has resulted in c430,000 jobs being lost in that sector. Barretts Shoes, Clinton Cards, JT Hughes, Woolworths etc. are just a few of those. The vast majority of workers in that sector are women so that is a major reason for the increase not just bloated local authorities becoming more sensible about their staff numbers.


29/9/2012 13:47

This is because most women over 45 years old are incompatable with modern society. They tend to live in the past and are very unreliable after menopause.


South Shields,
29/9/2012 13:25

And? Why should anyone be surprised? During the time when Labour was in power there were large numbers of women in this age group that went into employment in the public sector in one form or another. When you make cuts in public spending then you have to get rid of people that don’t do any productive work. They were only employed to massage employment figures and not for any other purpose. It has been that way for as long as I can remember.

Auger Borer

East Midlands, United Kingdom,
29/9/2012 13:22

I was made redundant at age 57, I applied for anything that I could, as a PA/Secretary I have never had a problem finding work, however, after applying for more than 100 and receiving just two replies realise that ageism is very prelevant for women. I applied to our local hospital for numerous postiions and never even got a reply, yet when I have to attend the same hospital I am met with staff that cannot understand basic English, what hope is there when they prefer to employ foreigners and not experienced women.

mosey 22

29/9/2012 13:17

This I can believe, a friend of mine’s mum is in her 50’s and is a very experienced secretary who can type ridiculously fast at 80+ wpm and has been unemployed for the last few years. Craziness.


29/9/2012 13:13

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