UN agency: Recession hurts male workers most

The world's economic crisis has cost more men their jobs than women in Western countries, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said on Thursday.

The male jobless rate in developed economies rose 1.1 percentage points to 6.6 percent in 2008, the year when credit, financial, and economic woes began to sink global markets, the U.N. agency said in a report. Female unemployment rose 0.8 percentage points to 6.8 percent.

"There was a reduction in the gender gap in the unemployment rate in 2008 but only because the situation of men in the labour market worsened more than the situation of women," the ILO said in its Global Employment Trends for Women study.

Men make up two-thirds or more of rich-country workers in mining, manufacturing, energy, construction and transportation, which have been hit hard by the continuing downturn.

"The impact of the crisis is likely to be more severe for males in countries in which these sectors were among the first to be affected," the ILO said.

Women, on the other hand, constitute two-thirds or more of public-sector workers in education, health and social services, which the ILO said "are likely to be less affected by the economic crisis, at least in the short run".

Developed countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and France saw their unemployment rates tick higher in late 2008, when the crisis took hold.

In the United States, where aggressive mortgage lending triggered a credit crisis that spread worldwide, the ILO said that male unemployment rose 1.7 percentage points from July to December, far exceeding the 1.1 increase for women workers.

"The relative employment losses for men were larger than for women in most sectors of the economy," the report found.

"It is clear that male employment suffered more, both in absolute and in relative terms. Nationally, male employment declined by 2.3 million, and female employment by 0.6 million."

Similar patterns were seen in France, where female jobless rates rose 0.1 percentage points in the second half of 2008, while male unemployment increased by 0.7 percentage points.

Companies around the world have shed hundreds of thousands of jobs in response to the economic storm that has suppressed consumer demand, trade and output.

The ILO said that a prolonged, broad-based downturn would make employment more scarce around the world and have a sharp impact on women workers in some regions, such as Latin America and the Caribbean.

But for now, it said that men reliant on "vulnerable employment" such as part-time and informal work would likely bear the brunt of a slowdown.

"Vulnerable employment is expected to rise in 2009 for both men and women, with the impact relatively more severe for men in all scenarios at the global level," it said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine