Comparing the labour market situation at the outset of the recession with the latest available official data shows that men overall have fared less well than women.
By the start of 2012 there were 387,000 fewer men in work (a net fall of 2.4%) than in the first quarter of 2008. By contrast the number of women in work was only 8,000
(0.05%) lower. The number of unemployed men has increased by 600,000 since 2008. The number of unemployed women has also increased substantially, by almost half a million, to reach a record level of 1.12 million, although this is not primarily due to fewer jobs for women but instead to a relatively large rise of 438,000 in the number of women participating in the labour market.
Even accounting for this, the gender unemployment gap (that is, the difference between the male and female unemployment rate) has increased from 0.8 percentage points to 1.3 percentage points. However, compared with 2008 women account for a larger share of total long-term unemployment (up from 31% to 36%).
The relatively stronger employment outcome for women is the result of a substantial rise of 172,000 (16.3%) in the number of women in self-employment. The number of women working full-time as employees has fallen by 220,000 (3%), partly offset by a small rise in part-time employment (0.1%).
For men the pattern is rather different, with a relatively large fall in full-time employees (552,000, or 4.7%), a relatively larger rise in part-time employees (9.7%)
and a relatively smaller rise in self-employment (2%).
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