More than one million women are unemployed, the largest number for nearly 25 years, official figures revealed yesterday.
The figures from the Office for National Statistics show 1.05million women do not have a job and are desperately looking for one.
This is the most since 1988, when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister.
Since the recession began in 2008, 372,000 women have joined the ranks of the unemployed. Between April and June, the number of women in employment fell by 24,000.
Tony Dolphin, chief economist of the Institute for Public Policy Research think-tank, said: ‘Women have been hit hardest and have suffered disproportionately badly in this latest rise of unemployment.’
Experts warned the problem is likely to get worse as the Government cuts the bloated State workforce, which is dominated by women.
Two-thirds of the State workforce are women. But around 400,000 jobs are expected to be axed in the next five years, according to the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.
The ONS figures show that people getting jobs in Britain at the moment are far more likely to be male. Between April and June, the number of men in employment jumped by 49,000, compared to the previous three months.
The Federation of Small Businesses said it is vital the Government helps women to set up their own business to curb the crisis.
Yvette Cooper, Labour MP and Shadow Minister for Women, said the cuts are hurting women ‘the hardest’. She said: ‘Women are being disproportionately hit by public sector job losses and rising childcare costs.
‘A recent survey found that 24 per cent of mothers have had to quit work, while 16 per cent had reduced their hours.’