Tuesday 26 March 2019

Men hit hardest by crash: millennial females least affected as male-dominated jobs bore brunt

The big picture

Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Young women have come out of the recession less severely affected than their male counterparts due to the nature of job losses brought about by the global financial crisis.

However, the average wealth of women who were aged between 20-24 in 2007 was still 61pc that of the men's as recently as 2013, according to the 'Survey of Consumer Finance' in the United States.

The so-called millennial generation are those who came to maturity after the year 2000, generally people born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s. One reason why females have fared better is because the industries most affected by the GFC, and the recession that engulfed countries around the world between 2007 and 2012, tended to be male-dominated, according to the 2018 'Global Wealth Report' from financial services company Credit Suisse.

Industries such as finance and construction, which have traditionally attracted larger numbers of male employees, were especially hard-hit during the recession.

Meanwhile, parts of the economy that are more stable, such as education, healthcare and public administration, have tended to be less male-dominated.

This can be seen through unemployment rates, where in Europe and the United States, males experienced a greater rise in unemployment rates after the GFC.

Stock image
Stock image

In the US, the male rate of unemployment shot up quickly after the crisis, peaking at 17.8pc in April 2010. While the unemployment rate for females in the US also peaked, it was at the much lower level of 10.8pc.

Turning to Ireland, which prior to the crash experienced a boom in the housing market - and as a result employment growth in the construction sector - the rate of unemployment for females stood at around 9.8pc in 2010, according to statistics from the Central Statistics Office.

However, for males the rate was 16.7pc that year.

In general, both male and female millennials have experienced a more difficult time gaining wealth than previous generations due to a number of factors, including the GFC, technological advances, and rising house prices, according to the Credit Suisse report.

Elsewhere, the report finds that female wealth has risen in absolute terms this century, and also relative to men's wealth "in some respects".

However, it notes that even in places where progress for women is strongest, single mothers and divorcees remain at a disadvantage.

In addition, the gender pay gap continues to hinder female wealth accumulation in some countries.

Overall, Europe and North America have the highest proportions of female billionaires, according to the Credit Suisse report.

Germany has the largest female percentage of female billionaires at 26pc, followed by Sweden and Switzerland.

Irish Independent

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