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One in ten British men to be unemployed by 2010

Published on 19/10/2009

With the latest official unemployment figures for the United Kingdom due to be released, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) concerned about impact of the recession on jobs for men warned that, with a 'jobs-light' recovery on the cards, the proportion of men in work is still set to fall to a record low.

The CIPD’s report found that the male unemployment rate currently stands at 9 percent – actually higher than the female unemployment rate of 6.9 percent. The number of men unemployed has also increased by almost 50 percent during the recession, whilst the number of women unemployed increased by 33.4 per cent. These unemployment rates rose by 3.0 and 1.6 percentage points respectively.

The deterioration in the labour market position of men has been felt particularly acutely by young men and black men. At present one in five 18-24 year old men are unemployed and almost one in five black men are unemployed, more than double the unemployment rate for white British men. The rise in unemployment for black men during the recession has been greater than for white British men and men from other ethnic minority groups.

By summer 2009 the employment rate of men of working age had fallen to 75.8 percent. Only two years in the post-World War II era (1993 and 1994) have registered a lower proportion of men in work. The low point was 75.0 percent in the second quarter of 1993 just as the economy began to emerge from recession (the previous low point, following the 1980s recession was 77.4 percent in the second quarter of 1983).

The male unemployment rate is forecast to rise above 10 percent by the start of 2010 before peaking at around 11 per cent (1.9 million). Although this is depressingly high, the peak in the male unemployment rate should be less than the 12.4 and 12.8 per cent peaks following the 1980s and 1990s recessions respectively.

The Chief Economist at the CIPD commented, "A focus on the relatively hard impact of the recession on men should not detract from the absolute deterioration in the labour market situation facing both sexes. Indeed, it is likely that the relative position of women will itself deteriorate in the coming decade as real cuts in public expenditure have an adverse impact on public sector employment. However, it is important to highlight the current plight of men in the labour market, not least because once the impact of recession and a ‘jobs-light’ recovery is fully felt the proportion of UK men in work will probably have fallen to a record low."

13 October 2009

CIPD/ Expatica

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