Men and women are competing for the same jobsThe rate of redundancies the recession has resulted in has seen more out of work men competing for positions traditionally held by women, new research has found.

As a result, the Universities of Sheffield Hallam and Dundee have suggested more women are now finding themselves on benefits.

Of the 2.6 million incapacity claimants of working age in the UK, 1.1 million are women, the study asserts.

Professor Steve Fothergill, from Sheffield Hallam University, said in the 1980s and 90s, many men were pushed on to benefits due to job losses in the coal, steel and engineering industries, but it is a “puzzle” why so many women are now in this position.

This is because job opportunities for females in the UK are increasing.

“One of the long-term consequences of job losses among men has been to push more women out of the labour market and on to benefits,” he explained.

This is because more men were now likely to be searching for the same jobs as women, with the result being females – particularly those with few skills or poor health – are finding themselves on benefits.

A recent survey by CV Trumpet revealed almost half of the 1,226 jobseekers polled are confident the jobs market will have completely turned around by the end of 2010.