Older women 'hardest hit by slump'
Older women are being hit hardest by the government's austerity policies, research carried out by the Labour party claims.
Women over 50 make up the greatest proportion of an increase in the number of long-term unemployed since the coalition came to power two and a half years ago, the research found.
The blame lies with swingeing cuts to local authority budgets and the burden of dealing with the increasing life expectancy of their parents, the Guardian said today.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, told the newspaper that this generation of women were caught between caring for elderly parents and grandchildren and suffering from outdated workplace practices.
Ms Cooper said that "a toxic combination of sexism is causing problems for this generation".
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that since May 2010, unemployment among women aged 50-64 has increased 31% to 142,000, compared with an overall increase of unemployment of 4.2% to 2.6million.
The Labour party is to announce a social care information service as part of the launch of a special older woman's commission today.
Ms Cooper told the Guardian: "This is really a first step for women who don't even know where to go for help.
"They may have a mum in Bolton who increasingly needs help and support and they may live somewhere else and have no idea what to do.
"Whether it's the council, a voluntary organisation or just a neighbour, this information service will help."