European men losing jobs faster than women
A new study by the European Union found that unemployment is having a disproportionate effect on men because male-dominated industries have been hit hardest by the recession.
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Mr. Sissions also says that even in periods of growth, manufacturing has a tendency to shed jobs as it becomes more productive and less labor intensive.Skip to next paragraph
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Construction, meanwhile, has flatlined across much of Europe.
"Too many of the [EU] construction booms were driven by housing bubbles rather than investment in infrastructure," Sissions says.
Martin Whelan, director of policy at Ireland's Construction Industry Federation, says the absence of strategic enterprise policy for the construction industry has resulted in the drop-off in activity being more severe than it need be.
"One of the great legacies of the sector was to deliver regeneration of our cities and towns but now there is a significant overcorrection in construction," he says.
Whelan also says governments favoring day-to-day spending over capital investment is a mistake that results in slower growth.
"There appears to be an orthodoxy in Europe favoring [spending] cuts but national accounts have two dimensions, and one of them is growth. The multiplier effect from productive investment is clear."
US men also losing jobs in higher numbers
The research mirrors findings from the US indicating men have been more vulnerable to downticks in the economy due to declines in male-dominated industries more susceptible to the cold winds of recession. National Bureau of Economic Research figures show that 70 percent of US jobs lost between December 2007 and June 2009 had been held by men. The Bureau of Labor Statistics figures published on Oct. 7 show within the labor force, 8.8 percent of adult men and 8.1 percent of adult women were unemployed in September.
However, men are also returning to work at a faster rate than women as these industries recover – though the percentages for men and women alike are negligible. Between August and September 2011, male unemployment shrank by 0.1 percent whereas female unemployment grew by 0.1 percent.
Back in the EU, although a greater number of men than women have lost jobs, the numbers are not identical in every country. As the Eurofound report indicates, wrenching increases in unemployment in countries such as Estonia, Ireland, and Spain were avoided in other nations such as Germany and Belgium, particularly through the introduction of short-time working schemes.
Some are warning, however, that spending cuts will disproportionately hurt female workers as government jobs are shed. Around two-thirds of public employees in Britain are female, meaning women are at greater risk of job losses as government spending cuts kick-in.