Women suffer job cuts

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The number of women on the dole in Sheffield is at a 13-year high, new figures have revealed.

There are currently 4,412 women in the city claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance.

The last time the so-called claimant count was so high was in September 1997, when there were 4,770 women claiming jobless benefits.

Experts say women are suffering higher unemployment levels because of public sector cuts, where they often represent a higher proportion of the workforce.

The picture is mirrored elsewhere in South Yorkshire - there are 2,835 women claiming JSA in Doncaster, the highest number since September 1996.

In Barnsley the 2,077 women on JSA and looking for work is at its highest level since September 1994, while the 2,307 women on JSA in Rotherham is the highest since March 1996.

Despite the worsening situation for women, Employment Minister Chris Grayling insisted more full time positions were being created in the private sector in Yorkshire than being axed in the public sector.

Official figures revealed the employment level in Yorkshire increased by 20,000 jobs in the three months to February. Officials said it was partly down to strong growth in manufacturing.

The region’s overall unemployment rate remained unchanged during the last quarter on 9.2 per cent, but it is down by 0.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the total number of JSA claimants in Sheffield fell by 98 from 16,017 in February to 15,919 in March. The claimant count also fell by 48 in Rotherham and 57 in Doncaster over the same period, although it marginally increased by eight in Barnsley.

However, youth unemployment remains stubbornly high. Of those claiming JSA in Sheffield, 4,935 - or 31 per cent - are between 16 and 24.