Merseyside 'worst for young women's jobs'

Merseyside has experienced the biggest rise in unemployment among young women in the country, the TUC has found.

Nationally, the number of unemployed women rose by 71,000 over the past year - a 0.5% increase. Male unemployment fell by 31,000 - a decline of 0.3%.

Young women - those aged between 16 and 24 - have been particularly badly hit, the union organisation's study found.

On Merseyside, unemployment among young women has increased by 11% since the recession started, the TUC said.

There has also been a fall in jobs traditionally taken by women, such as those in retail, secretarial, health and social work, the study found.

Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, said the government was focusing on cuts "while our unemployment crisis continues to grow".

'Business-friendly environment'

"The UK desperately needs an economic strategy that prioritises growth and jobs to bring revenues in and the deficit down," he said.

"The current plan of deep, rapid cuts is causing job losses to mount and sending our economy in the wrong direction."

The Department for Work and Pensions said the government was focused on "restoring the economy and supporting private sector jobs growth".

A spokesman added: "That's why we recently launched Enterprise Clubs and a New Enterprise Allowance to help people set up their own businesses as part of our drive to create a much more business-friendly environment in Britain and to support the development of tens of thousands of new businesses to help rebuild our economy and create new jobs.

"Our priority is to help everyone who loses their job back into employment and our new Work Programme, which comes on stream in the summer, will give everyone - including young women - the proper support and training to help them into work whatever barriers they face."

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