London: As their families struggle to make ends meet, several British mothers are being forced to return to work, according to Britain's employment minister Chris Grayling.

The demise of the traditional housewife looking after her young family was one "very obvious" trend from the current labour market, a newspaper quoted him as saying.

"I think we are seeing more stay-at-home mums saying, 'I think I'll look for a part-time job'," said Grayling. Asked if such mothers were returning to work for financial reasons, the minister said: "I suspect so".

According to figures from Britain's Office for National Statistics, the number of 'inactive' women, meaning who neither have a job nor they want one, has dropped dramatically. Over the last year, the statistics of those aged between 16 and 64 has fallen by 71,000. But, at the same time, unemployment among women has increased by 82,000, the figures show.

The number of unemployed women in Britain has reached 1.12 million, an unprecedented figure in last 25 years. It means that many mothers who earlier remained stay-at-home mums are now struggling to find decent work due to the embattled job market.