Unemployment remains at its lowest rate since 1975, according to figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The latest ONS figures show that unemployment currently stands at 4.3 per cent, with 32.10 million people in work – 317,000 more than last year.
Employment has risen due to an increase in full-time and permanent work, and in the last year there are 20,000 fewer people relying on zero hour contracts.
The female employment rate is also at a near record of 70.7 per cent, with over 15 million women in work.
Despite this, mothers aged between 16 and 49 are still less likely to be in employment than women without dependant children of the same age.
Analysis by the Institute of Fiscal Studies also found that time out of the labour market has a substantial impact on women’s salaries. On returning to work, women earn around two per cent less on average for every year spent out of paid work.
Nancy Wood, 34, is an Associate at BuroHappold who has returned to work after ten months out. She is looking to further her career in sustainability consultancy and has attended a returners course organised by WISE, an organisation set up to achieve a better gender balance in science, technology and engineering.
Wood said, “I went on the returnship programme to help reignite my career.”
“I’m ambitious, and after ten months out I have valued learning how to successfully balance work and home life.”
“The course was extremely helpful and provided some really useful techniques.”
“I already feel more confident in my ability and empowered to do my job well, and have set a clear career path to help me achieve my ambitions.”
The government has outlined getting more women back into work and as a result boosting their pay income, as a key focus point.
Damian Hinds, Minister for Employment, said, “Our economy is helping to create full time, permanent jobs which are giving people across the UK the chance of securing a reliable income.”
“We’ve boosted the income for people on the lowest pay by increasing the National Living Wage and delivered the fastest pay rise for the lowest earners in 20 years.”
“That’s great progress and we’re determined to help more people flourish in the world of work.”
“For example, we’ve launched our new returnship programme to help more women get into good jobs after taking time out, and to keep their career progressing.”