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Location: Newcastle
Date: February 5, 2024
Smart Works Unemployment Index 2023 image

Tuesday 30th January marked the launch of the Smart Works Unemployment Index. A revealing document that showcases the many barriers women face in the employment landscape today.


Figures showed that on average, women spent 23 hours a week applying for jobs, receiving little to no feedback on unsuccessful attempts, making job hunting time-consuming.

Local women reported obstacles such as demanding applications, unclear job descriptions, and highly competitive recruitment markets when looking for work. This led the report to highlight these ongoing struggles have financial and psychological repercussions on women with 24% reporting feeling less confident after applying.

The report showed that exerted pressure caused by the cost-of-living crisis led 68% of women to accept lower-paid and lower-skill roles, compared to 62% in 2022.


Helen Boyd, Centre Manager of Smart Works Newcastle says: “The report shows that job seeking as a woman is challenging and we hope the Index highlights this and encourages positive change. As the Smart Works service shows, having a job is vital to financial independence, self-worth, and purpose. We will continue to support unemployed women with the confidence to succeed at interview and get the job.”


Despite the challenges faced, 25% of women in Newcastle expressed that their primary motivation for seeking employment is a “sense of purpose and identity”.


Collay Dennis a former client of Smart Works Newcastle says: “I am thrilled to be a [art of the Smart Works 2023 Index. Following my appointment at Smart Works Newcastle my confidence in my skillset skyrocketed, and I felt much more equipped to navigate the world of work. Now I am working, my self-worth has increased, and I feel great”.


Smart Works Newcastle supports women ahead of interviews. 67% secure a job following their visit. These women have significant potential and determination to succeed, and the Smart Works service can help them tap into this potential and transform their lives.