Budget 2020: young women and economic justice

This briefing outlines evidence on young women’s economic situation in the UK from Young Women’s Trust and the Women’s Budget Group, and recommendations for achieving economic justice for inclusion in the UK Budget 2020.

Key facts

  • The gender gap in annual earnings for young women aged 18-21 is currently 32.8 percent and for young women aged 22-29 is 19 percent. This is the result of factors including discrimination in the workplace, career gender stereotypes and disproportionate caring
  • Young women are more likely to be offered less pay and more precarious working conditions than young men of the same age.
  • Many young women find they cannot afford to access the labour market. Childcare costs are a big financial constraint, with a nursery place absorbing between half and two-thirds of a young women’s average salary (for 0-2 year-old children) and a fifth and a quarter for
    older children.
  • Young women are 20 percent more likely to be classed as ‘economically inactive’ than young men. However, this stigmatising term hides the fact that these young women will be caring for children, older relatives and community members, doing household work and
    emotional labour and making a huge yet unvalued and unpaid contribution to the economy and overall prosperity of the population.
  • Young women’s economic disadvantage has a significant negative impact on their poverty rates, their ability to afford accommodation and their mental health and should thus be addressed to unlock young women’s potential, so all society can benefit.