The rise and rise of women's employment in the UK

Document type
Roantree, Barra; Vira, Kartik
Institute for Fiscal Studies
Date of publication
27 April 2018
IFS Briefing Note; BN234
Employment, Families, Social Policy, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

Download (314KB )

Over the past 40 years, the UK has seen an almost continual rise in the proportion of women in employment. The employment rate among women of ‘prime working age’ (aged 25-54) is up from 57% in 1975 to a record high of 78% in 2017.

This predominantly reflects an increase in full-time employment, from 29% in 1985 (when data on hours of work began) to 44% in 2017.

These aggregate changes are largely the result of a huge change in working patterns at particular points in the life cycle, with far more women in employment over the course of their mid-to-late 20s and early 30s.

More from Social welfare collection

Related to Employment

What women want

This paper examines the role of women at work and at home, the government's policy towards women since 1997, and what respondents to two surveys conducted in February and March 2009 regard as the ideal

The rise and rise of women's employment in the UK

Downloadable briefing note on the rise of women's employment in the UK

Participation rates in the UK 2014: 2 women

This document provides information on changes in labour market participation rates of women over the last two decades in the UK.The key points are:In the final quarter of 2014, 74.5%

Alliance against pregnancy discrimination in the workplace

There has been an alarming increase in the number of pregnant women and new mothers who are being made redundant. It appears that some employers are using the recession as an excuse to break the law

More items related to this subject

Related to Institute for Fiscal Studies

Automatic enrolment minimum contribution increases and pay

Briefing note on auto enrolment pensions

DC scheme default strategy policy considerations

Briefing note on DC scheme default strategies

DC scheme investment in illiquid and alternative assets

Report on defined contribution schemes

More items related to this publisher