2017 Pre-Budget Briefing: Employment

Date Posted: Wednesday 1st November 2017

Our series of briefings on the gender impact of policy in 12 distinct areas ahead of the Autumn Budget 2017.

BudgetEmploymentSelf Employment


You can read the full Pre-Budget Briefing on Employment here.


Key points on women, employment and earnings:

• Employment rates are at record levels but the gender employment gap is still 9 percentage points and this widens to 27 points when measured in full-time equivalent.

• Women are now 47% of those in employment but are still the majority of those in part-time employment (73%), involuntary part-time employment (57%), temporary employment (53%), zero-hour contracts (57%) and parttime self-employment (58%).

• Unemployment rates have fallen faster for men than for women since the peak of 2011; long-term unemployment prevalence has increased for women over 50 while decreased for men.

• Employment rates of Bangladeshi and Pakistani women still lag behind that of other groups. Bangladeshi and Pakistani women are also more likely to work in the public sector meaning they are more exposed to the loss in employment and pay freeze than other groups.

• Wages have continued to stall in real terms and fell since last year.

• The Gender pay gap has continued to fall, however it has increased in the public sector and for full-time employees it is at its highest level since 1999.

• Women account for 70% of low earners (67% of full-time low earners), a proportion slightly up from 2011 (69%) when measured as earnings below 60% of full-time weekly earnings.

• The Supreme Court ruling to reverse the increase in fees for employment tribunals is very welcome. In the first year after fees were increased there was a dramatic fall in claims with claims for Sex Discrimination claims falling by 91%.

• Paid employment will only provide a reliable route out of poverty for women if action is taken to address continued gendered inequalities in the labour market.


You can read the full Pre-Budget Briefing on Employment here.