• FWX Sept qtr 2023  78.1
  • FWX yr-o-yr  1.91
  • FWX qtr-o-qtr  1.5
  • ASX 200 Boards years to equality  5.7
  • Underemployment years to equality  19.9
  • Superannuation years to equality  19
  • Gender pay gap years to equality  24.3
  • Employment years to equality  26.7
  • Unpaid work years to equality  44
  • Education years to equality  138.9

Female job losses mount in many female dominated industries

There are early signs that Australia’s female workforce is faring worse than our male workforce because of the impact of COVID-19.
May 3, 2020

There are early signs that female job losses are starting to climb in many female dominated industries because of the impact of COVID-19.

Full-time female employment growth slowed in the March quarter, which is the opposite of a historical trend that has long seen it outpace male employment growth.

COVID-19 job statistics released between March 14 and 28, shows that female job losses decreased by 5.9% versus 5.8% for males. Then from March 28 to April 4, female jobs decreased by 5.7% and those worked by males decreased by 5.1%.

What makes women vulnerable?

As we have noted in the latest Financy Women’s Index, women are proving more vulnerable to these job cuts because they tend to occupy lower paid and less secure forms of employment in terms of casual and part-time work.

One of the main reasons this happens is because women tend to be the primary carers of children and they need greater workplace flexibility.

We have seen businesses and schools shut down as we all try to adhere to the Federal Government’s containment measures.

Some of the hardest hit sectors and occupations are dominated by female workers such as Travel, Retail, beauty and Food and Accommodation Services.

Then there has also been the need to provide home-schooling for children. This has added to increased unpaid work at home and the increased parenting juggle.  

Most sectors of the Australian economy (17 out of 19) are male dominated in terms of having more full-time male workers compared to full-time females.

When it comes to part-time employment, the picture is almost the reverse with 16 out of 19 sectors dominated by female part-time workers and only 3 dominated by male part-time employees.

Health Care and Social Assistance and Education and Training sector are the only two sectors that are dominated with full and part-time female employees.

Sector impact of COVID-19 job cuts

Of the 19 sectors of the economy, female job losses were more dominate by percentage across 14 sectors, while there were more male job losses in five industries.

Accommodation and Food Services recorded the biggest job cuts since the Coronavirus outbreak with a most significant 27.2% of female jobs gone and 24.8% of male jobs lost.

Businesses within the Arts and Recreation Services reported the next biggest reduction in female occupied roles with 22.1% of positions cut compared to 18.3% of men.

This reflects the fact that less than half of the businesses within Arts and Recreation Services are trading as a result of the Coronavirus.

The female dominated Health Care and Social Assistance has seen 2% of female jobs cut and 1.4% of male jobs.

Education and Training was the only sector which actually increased its workforce since March 14 with 1.4% more female employees added and 1.8% more males added.

The longer the Coronavirus outbreak remains without a treatment or vaccine, the more likely it is that it will hurt the financial progress of women.

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May 3, 2020
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