Employment soars to record high as single mums and older women are more likely to have a job

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey today hailed a “Great British Success Story” as official figures revealed women accounted for three-quarters of the rise in employment between February and April.

Experts said it was led by single parents and older women putting off retirement.

The surge in work meant employment hit a new high of 32.39million.

And unemployment fell by 38,000 to 1.42million with the proportion of women on the dole at just 4.1 per cent – a record low.

Alistair McQueen, head of savings at insurance giant Aviva, said: “Women are leading the way in their embrace for a longer working life.

“There are more women in employment than ever before and fewer women in ‘early retirement’ than ever before.”

Analysts welcomed the figures but warned that pay growth was still anaemic – with average earnings rising by 2.8 per cent, less than in March.

The Resolution Foundation has warned that it could take until the mid-2020s for incomes to recover to pre-crisis levels.

Conor D’Arcy of Resolution, said: “The UK jobs market has continued to impress in 2018, with employment remaining at a record high and female unemployment falling to its lowest ever level.

“But we’re yet to see the good news feed into wage pressure.”

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