Women should be allowed to play a role in economic recovery
The Welsh economy will never grow while half of the population is without work. That is the warning issued by Plaid Cymru in light of unemployment figures that show that the economic recovery has been largely focused on men.
Figures show that since February 2012, male unemployment has dropped by 0.8% while female unemployment has risen by 0.7%. On top of this, Plaid Cymru warned, cuts to local government could have catastrophic effects for women who make up almost three-quarters of the local government workforce and hold 56% of all full time local government jobs.
The Party of Wales Shadow Economy Minister Alun Ffred Jones said:
“We can’t have an economic recovery while half of the population is frozen out of the workplace.
“While the government has been beating its chest over the small rise in unemployment we saw last week, it was clear to us that any increase masked a worrying trend that could leave its mark on Wales’ economy for generations.
“The figures show that the increase in unemployment has been focused on men, whole women are being forced out of work.
“Women have borne the brunt of the recession so far, and they are the most vulnerable to the cuts that are yet to come. Following the cuts to the budgets of local authorities that was announced last week there is a real risk that hundreds or thousands more women could lose their jobs.
“We can’t let a lost generation of women become the story of this recession.
“That’s why Plaid Cymru has put forward proposals to support job creation and help women find work. By putting forward measures such as business rate relief for small businesses, and by improving procurement practices, we can create as many jobs as possible. We have also called on the government to adopt a proper childcare policy so that families are able to access quality childcare at an affordable price.
“If we are to fulfil Wales’ economic potential then we need to do everything we can, before this situation becomes critical.”