Spiraling Rate of Layoffs for Men

The economic crisis has upended the labor market in more ways than one. Until September 2008, more women were being fired than men, but since October 2008 the situation has been reversed, and men are now being pink-slipped more often than women, according to a survey conducted by the Employment Service.

The survey shows that prior to the crisis women were fired up to 15% more frequently than men. In July 2008 for instance, 7,824 women were laid off, compared to just 6,770 men.

But by October, that began to change. The bureau reports that 5,434 men and 5,254 women were fired from their jobs, a difference of 3.4%. And that gap continued to grow. In November, 12.5% more men were laid off than their female counterparts, and by March 2009 that gap grew to a whopping 25.8%.

The trend began returning to the usual gender division in layoff rates in April, when 24.2% more men were fired than women. May, June and July have seen the difference narrow, with 14.3%, 13.5% and 9.8% more men fired in the respective months.

The Employment Service Bureau explain that before the crisis employers tended to lay off more women, because a large proportion of them were employed in part-time positions and fewer were employed in key positions. But when the crisis erupted employers changed their tune: More men tended to be laid off precisely because they tend to occupy most of the top, higher-paying corporate positions. As a result, efficiency programs aimed at cutting costs, which have been implemented in many companies, have affected men more than women.