‘Full Monty’ Effect Of Recession

(Telegraph) – MEN HAVE BEEN HIT HARDER BY THE RECESSION, creating a “Full Monty” effect, said researchers at the Conservative-leaning Policy Exchange.

Official figures show that the number of men of working age with jobs has fallen from 92 per cent in 1971 to 75 per cent. The number of women who are employed has risen from 56 per cent to 69 per cent, narrowing the gap between women and men to 6 per cent.

The recession has had a disproportionate effect on men, with the number of women in employment increasing since June, while the number of men has continued to fall.

Neil O’Brien, director of Policy Exchange, said: ‘We are having a Full Monty-style recession with women faring much better than men.

‘As Britain has lost industrial jobs over the last couple of decades, the number of men in work has collapsed, and the numbers on benefits soared. The current recession is accelerating this trend further.’

The 1997 film, the Full Monty told the story of a group of unemployed steel workers in Sheffield, who became strippers. Because men have traditionally been employed in the manufacturing industry, while women worked in service industries, men have been worse affected by the lengthy decline in British manufacturing.

The manufacturing sector fell by an average of 1.2 per cent every year in the last decade and the loss of jobs in the financial sector has also affected men.

Part-time employment has remained relatively buoyant and public-sector employment, where women are strongly represented, is strong.

The number of men in employment fell three times more than the number of women in one year, with the employment rate of women falling by 2.8 per cent up to September 2009 and the employment rate of men slumping by 8.8 per cent.

The Conservative work and pensions spokesman Theresa May said: ‘Unless Labour address the growing skills gap in the economy we risk losing a generation of men to a cycle of worklessness.’

There are already more 16 and 17-year-old women in employment than their male equivalents. While 30 per cent of young women have jobs, only 23 per cent of men are working.

According to the Local Government Association, Britain risks the creation of a ‘lost generation’ of young people falling into long-term unemployment because of the recession.

Previous recessions have left increasing numbers of people excluded from the labour market – in particular amongst the under 25s and the over 50s.

The total number unemployed in the UK currently stands at 2.49 million – or 7.9% of the population – following hundreds of thousands of job losses in 2009.

According to the latest forecast from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, unemployment will peak at 2.8 million in the summer of 2010.

According to Mind, the mental health charity, the recession is causing an increase in mental health problems among men because of fears over redundancy and lack of money.

More than a third are feeling worried or low and middle-aged males are seven times more likely than women to have suicidal thoughts.

The charity said, 2.7 million men in England currently have a mental health problem like depression, anxiety or stress.

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