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Scottish work called for guaranteed jobs for all women after the rise in female unemployment at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.Party leader Richard Leonard has said he wants the government to implement a job guarantee similar to the youth program announced as part of a £ 50million fundraising scheme for the youth employment, with particular emphasis on the return of women to work.

It comes after the latest figures showed a 0.7% increase in unemployed women between March and May.

Scotland’s overall unemployment rate is now 4.3%, but 4.4% of women are unemployed.

The latest government labor market figures show that the female unemployment rate has risen 1.5% in the past year and 0.7% since the first three months of 2020.

The number of people working in Scotland fell by 47,000 between March and May, while total unemployment increased by 15,000 to 120,000.

Employment and unemployment rates reflect the population of Scots aged 16 to 64 and those classified as ‘economically active’.

Overall employment is 74.1%, down 1.6% from the same quarter of 2019.

By gender, 76.7% of men and 71.7% of women are employed – decreases of 2.4% and 0.9% respectively.

Since the first quarter of 2020, the percentage of working men has decreased by 1.7% and the employment rate for women has decreased by 0.8%.

Leonard said: “The rise in unemployment among women in Scotland is really alarming, but the SNP does not seem to realize how serious it is.

‘Unless the Scottish Government puts in place a quality job guarantee system that includes targeted support for women and young people, the progress we have made in reducing the gender gap in the place work will go back decades. ”

Scottish Labor’s proposal calls for guaranteed jobs, paid at least a living wage, regardless of age, investments in “growth industries” such as the environment, and jobs “supported by services childcare ”.

Leonard added: “The gap widened rapidly during the Covid-19 pandemic, which is likely due in part to job losses in the hotel sector and childcare pressures during school closures.

“There is still too much uncertainty about returning to schools, and it is likely that job losses at the end of the leave program will disproportionately affect women.

“But it is clear that unemployment increased among women before March.

“Just as Scotland was unprepared for the health and public care crisis, neither is Scotland prepared for the coming economic crisis – and the growing inequalities it is likely to bring about. unless we intervene now.

Announcing the £ 100million funding for employment support, which includes the Youth Jobs Guarantee, Economic Secretary Fiona Hyslop warned Scotland could see unprecedented levels of unemployment since the 1980s due to the pandemic and needed a “national effort” between the parties to meet the challenge.

Speaking to Parliament on Thursday, she added: “Today, statistics confirm the magnitude of the impact of the pandemic on Scottish workers, businesses and communities.

Responding to Leonard’s comments, Equality Minister Christina McKelvie said: “Equality for women has been at the heart of our vision for a fairer Scotland from the start, with evidence showing that a lack of flexible work, underutilization of skills and low wages, part-time work has largely contributed to the persistence of the gender pay gap.

“While the pandemic and the ensuing foreclosure have caused incredible hardship for many, it has also highlighted how much the responsibilities of housework and childcare, such as unpaid care and education at home, are disproportionately supported by women.

McKelvie added that the government’s plans to close the gender pay gap “are even more relevant in dealing with the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on women’s employment opportunities”.


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