25/10/2011 14:04 BST | Updated 25/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Women Hit By Local Authority Job Cuts, Union Says

Women have been hard hit by local authority job cuts in England and Wales, accounting for 100% of losses in some parts of the country, a study by a union says.

More than 129,000 jobs have been lost in England and Wales, including teachers, between the first quarter and second quarters of 2011. More than 85,000 of those cuts were to jobs held by women.

The percentage of women hit by the cuts was highest in south east England, the study by the GMB union said, where women made up 75.8% of the jobs lost.

The east of England (71 per cent), West Midlands (70%), Wales (69.8%) and the North East (68.4%) also recorded high levels of cuts to posts held by women.

In 19 councils all of the jobs lost were held by women, the union said, including councils in North Warwickshire, Powys, Canterbury, Oxford, West Somerset, and Hammersmith and Fulham in London.

However further analysis of the figures suggests that there was a higher proportion of women employed by local authorities in England and Wales after the cuts.

As the union accepted, the statistics are muddied by the fact that a far higher proportion of women are employed by local authorities.

Job losses were also far more likely to hit part-time workers - of whom an even greater proportion are women.

As a result, and according to the figures provided, 560,609 men were employed in the first quarter of 2010 compared to 517,268 in the second quarter of 2011.

Compared to the number of women (1,696,486 down to 1,610,486) that represents a fall in the proportion of men employed by local authorities from 24.84% at the start of 2010 compared to 24.31% by the second quarter of 2011.

The union said that the point that more women have lost jobs than men stands and added that the impact on their families will be severe.

GMB national officer Brian Strutton said: "This was entirely predictable because the public sector employs more women than men.

"The drop in the number of women employed in the public sector means a serious loss of income from employment to women across the UK. Many households depend on having income from two wage earners to pay the mortgage and the household bills."