Jane spent part of her childhood in Uganda and Kenya, and was educated at the University of Kent, the London School of Economics and Bristol University. She has lived and worked in Wales since 1972.
Jane was an elected member of the former South Glamorgan County Council for 12 years and was first elected to the Assembly in 1999. Between 1999 and 2005 she served as Minister for Health and Social Services in the Welsh Government. From 2005 to 2007, she was Minister for Assembly Business and Chief Whip. In the first Cabinet of the Third Assembly she was appointed Minister for Budget and Assembly Business.
In the coalition Cabinet, announced on 19 July 2007, she became Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills. In December 2009 she was appointed Minister for Business and Budget, subsequently Minister for Finance until 2016 when she was appointed Leader of the House and Chief Whip at the start of the Fifth Assembly.
On 13 December 2018 Jane was appointed Deputy Minister and Chief Whip. Jane was appointed Minister for Social Justice on 13 May 2021.
Jane Hutt is an honorary fellow of Cardiff Metropolitan University and Cardiff and Vale College. She is a Welsh learner.