Click to enlarge.

Unemployment in the OECD area is predicted to reach some 10% in 2010, up from about 5.6% in 2007. Men have been hit harder than women: across the OECD area, male employment has fallen by 3% since the recession started, while the decline for women stood at a tenth of that, at 0.3%. Hence the “mancession” tag bloggers and commentators have used to characterise the jobs crisis.

Why the difference? In large part, men are more likely to work in sectors of the economy that are more prone to initial job losses from this downturn, such as construction and manufacturing. By contrast, job losses have been less severe in services in which women are heavily represented.

However, stripping away the impact of, say, the construction downturn on job losses reveals that women are at higher risk of losing their jobs than men as they are more likely to work part-time or in temporary work and are, as such, easier for employers to let go. On average, recent job losses have mostly occurred in labour-intensive maledominated sectors like construction, but this trend could shift, with more women among the unemployed. In Denmark, for instance, 182 male jobs were lost for each 100 female jobs, but in Korea, female unemployment rose slightly faster than male unemployment.

For more graphs, see Factblog at and see 

©OECD Observer No 278 March 2010

Economic data


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