The number of stay-at-home mums has reached an all-time low as families face record levels of financial pressure and struggle to make ends meet.
According to new figures from the Office for National Statistics, around 50,000 stay-at-home mums have been forced back to work in the past year in attempts to pay off crippling mortgages and rising household bills.
This means that number of women who stay at home with their children has dropped to 2.07 million – the lowest number since records began in 1994.
And these figures are set to continue to drop as more mums will be forced back into the workplace because of the controversial changes to child benefit. From 2013, no higher-rate taxpayer will get the handout, currently worth £1,752 a year for a couple with two children.
Jill Kirby, a director of the Centre for Policy Studies and author of a report entitled 'The Price of Parenthood', said that many mothers are paying a heavy price for over-committing themselves on their mortgages.
She said: 'The overwhelming reason for mothers to return to work is sheer financial pressure, often much earlier than they would like. Many women do feel really trapped by their own situations.'
At the same time, finding a job is becoming harder. Figures reveal that the number of full-time jobs has plunged by 725,000, while the number of part-time jobs has jumped by 456,000. More than 1.1 million people (another record) say they are only working part-time because they could not get a full-time job.
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