A Downing Street spokeswoman said:
We are sticking to our plan to deal with the deficit and try to promote growth and jobs.
We think the figures show that the private sector is actually still creating jobs and the number of vacancies has held firm. Private sector employment is up 45,000 in the latest quarter, and that more than offsets the fall in public sector employment.
Asked whether the Prime Minister was concerned that women do not appear to be doing as well as men in finding jobs, the spokeswoman added:
The figures do show that the number of women in work has risen on the previous quarter and the (female) employment rate is anyway at a historically high level, despite the recession.
For those women who are out of work, there is the Work Programme, which does give tailored back-to-work support, and the Government is doing other work to help expand access to childcare, for example, so there is help available.