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Global Employment Trends for Women

The gaps are examined in terms of their long-run trends, over the past decade for the economic indicators of unemployment, employment, vulnerability and segregation, and over the past two decades for the slower moving demographic and behavioral indicator of labor force participation.

The economic indicators are also examined in terms of more recent trends over the course of the global financial and economic crisis of the past five years. Globally, gender gaps in the economic indicators of unemployment and employment trended towards convergence in the period 2002 to 2007, but with reversals coinciding with the period of the crisis from 2008 to 2012 in many regions. The gender gap in labor force participation, examined over a longer period of the last two decades, shows convergence in the 1990s, but little to no convergence in the 2000s, with increasing gaps in some regions like South Asia and Central and Eastern Europe.

The demographic and behavioral change appears to have added to the impact of the crisis, to reverse convergence in regions harder hit by the crisis, such as the advanced economies and Central and Eastern Europe. Economic indicators of job quality, such as gender gaps in vulnerability and occupational segregation show significant gaps for 2012. An indicator for sectoral segregation could be observed over a long run period of two decades and showed women crowding into services sectors, in both developed and developing countries. The report shows that reducing gender gaps can significantly improve economic growth and per capita incomes. The remedial policy then has to address the reversals in convergence. And it has to address the complex set of economic, demographic and behavioral factors leading to the increase in gender-based gaps in the labor market.

The Crisis
The policy stimulus of 2009 gave way to austerity in 2011-12, that in 2012 led to a double-dip in GDP growth in some countries. The 29 million net jobs lost during the global economic crisis have not been recovered. The Eurozone crisis combined with the “fiscal cliff” threat in the United States, has generated downside risks to growth. The IMF’s downgrade of global GDP growth for 2013, from 3.8 to 3.6 percent, has led the ILO to estimate that an additional 2.5 million jobs could be lost in 2013 as result.

Gender Gaps in Unemployment
From 2002 to 2007, the gender gap in unemployment was constant at around 0.5 percentage points, with the female unemployment rate higher at 5.8 per cent, compared to male unemployment at 5.3 per cent (with 72 million women unemployed compared to their global employment of 1.2 billion in 2007 and 98 million men unemployed compared to their global employment of 1.8 billion). The crisis raised this gender gap to 0.7 percentage points for 2012 (destroying 13 million jobs for women), with projections showing no significant reduction in unemployment expected even by 2017.

Analysis of regional trends shows that, over 2002 to 2007, women had higher unemployment rates than men in Africa, South and South-East Asia, and Latin America, while in East Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and more recently the advanced economies, there were negative gender gaps in unemployment rates (male unemployment rates higher than female rates).

In this pre-crisis period, there was moderate convergence in the regions in which women’s unemployment rates exceeded the corresponding male rates. For the regions with the negative gender gaps, the range was small, between 0.5 and 1 percentage points. The crisis appears to have worsened gender gaps in unemployment across all regions, regardless of whether they were on the front lines of the crisis like the advanced economies, or a degree removed like Asia and Africa. The pre-crisis convergence in gender gaps reversed as a result of the crisis in South Asia, South East Asia, and Africa. In advanced economies and Central and Eastern Europe, the crisis moved their negative gender gaps towards zero. The gender gaps, positive and large in the Middle East and Latin America and the Caribbean, and negative in East Asia remained unaffected by the crisis.

The report below is showing all the trends for global employment of Woman’s; Global Employment Trends for Women 2012

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