Economy Equality and Human Rights

Fewer Welsh women of working age in employment than UK average

26 September 2013

On 25 September the Office for National Statistics published Women in the Labour Market 2013, a statistical focus on the employment, occupations and pay of women and men in the labour market across the UK. The most relevant figures in the release to Wales are those for the working age employment rate for women (the percentage of women aged 16-64 who are in employment).
Of the devolved nations and English regions, the percentage of women aged 16-64 in employment in Wales in July 2012 – June 2013 was eighth highest at 63.8%, and below the UK average of 66%. Figure 1 presents the figures for the devolved nations and English regions.

Figure 1: Percentage of women aged 16-64 in employment in devolved nations and English regions, July 2012 – June 2013

Rs132379 Graph 1

Source: Office for National Statistics, Women in the Labour Market 2013 page 7 (click on the Excel spreadsheet)

The Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics (NUTS) is a hierarchical classification of administrative areas, used across the European Union for statistical purposes. Figure 2 shows the percentage of women aged 16-64 in employment in July 2012 – June 2013 for all 12 of the Welsh NUTS3 areas. It can be seen that:
• In July 2012 – June 2013 Powys had the highest percentage of women aged 16-64 in employment of the Welsh NUTS3 areas at 71.4%. This was the 19th highest of the 134 NUTS3 areas across the UK.
• Over this period, the Central Valleys (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf) had the lowest percentage of women aged 16-64 in employment of the Welsh NUTS3 areas at 57.4%. This was the 5th lowest of the 134 UK NUTS3 areas.

Figure 2: Percentage of women aged 16-64 in employment in Welsh NUTS3 areas, Wales and the UK, July 2012 – June 2013 (click map to enlarge)

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Source: Office for National Statistics, Women in the Labour Market 2013 page 8 (click on the Excel spreadsheet)
Recently published research providing further information relating to women in the Welsh labour market can be found in:
• Bevan Foundation for Welsh Government, Women, Work and the Recession in Wales
• Chwarae Teg, A Woman’s Place: A study of women’s roles in the Welsh workforce

Article written by Gareth Thomas