It's not your gender, pet

Shock! Horror! The BBC discovers that Women are losing their jobs!

Beneath the headlines are many puzzling aspects of the jobs market, one of which is that female unemployment has been rising a lot faster than the male total.
Now, why might that be? Well, the public sector has been losing a lot of jobs recently, and women are overrepresented in that sector (not least because of its positive attitude towards flexible hours and part-time working). Oddly, the article doesn't follow that line of enquiry.

Instead we get a parade of anecdotes, which the author hopes will add up to actual data:

Jessica Beale, who is in her 30s, has a son at primary school and is his sole carer. She needs to find work which will allow her to fit in her childcare commitments. [...] Jessica Beale fears her need for flexible working hours is affecting her chances of getting a job
Well... yes, it would do really. Her situation immediately limits the kinds of job she can get, and places her in competition for the remaining jobs with all the other part-time or reduced-hours mothers. And yes, it is almost always the mothers rather than the fathers in this situation.

And on the more educated end:

Rose McConnachie, 27, has a degree and postgraduate qualifications from Edinburgh University. She cannot find any work relevant to her training in psychology and criminology, so has widened her search for any paid work. But she has drawn a blank.
I'm not surprised that she can't find relevant work - for criminology, I can only think of a few potential employers and they're all in the cutbacks-and-no-recruiting parts of the public sector. Unfortunate timing by Ms McConnachie, and I can't help but wonder why she thought that taking a Masters (I assume it's not a Ph.D.) in the subject would help her prospects at all.

However, Rose is looking for paid work outside her specialist sector. Why has she drawn a blank?

"I mean, I'm great! I'm very clever, I'm very talented, I've got a lot of transferable skills and I'm very employable, but there just doesn't seem to be anywhere for me to be utilised for anyone's benefit."
Oh Lordy. I think I see the problem. While I'm sure part of the issue is that she's 27 years old and therefore many employers are automatically assuming she'll get pregnant within a year of joining, a much more immediate issue is that she thinks she walks on water.

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