- Global GDP could shrink as much as $US1 trillion if a predicted 31 million women lose their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, Citi has warned.
- The analysis, first reported by Bloomberg last week, suggests that some 220 million women globally work in sectors threatened by the virus, and that 31 million of those could lose their jobs during the pandemic.
- This figure does not include China, meaning that the real number, including the world’s second largest economy, would likely be much higher.
- “Women’s lesser status in the labour market leaves them more exposed and easier to lay off,” the OECD warned in April.
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Global GDP could shrink as much as $US1 trillion if a predicted 31 million women lose their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, Citi has warned.
In a note last week, Citi analysts said that globally there are 220 million women working in “vulnerable sectors,” according to a report from Bloomberg Thursday.
Overall there are 44 million workers at risk of losing their jobs because of the pandemic, Citi said, with 31 million of these being women, and 13 million being men.
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The alarming analysis highlights how women are likely more exposed to the crippling effects of the pandemic.
According to the research 31 million female job losses across six sectors could amount to real global GDP loss of up to $US1 trillion.
This figure does not include China, meaning that the real number, including the world’s second largest economy, would likely be much higher.
Global GDP was estimated to be $US80.27 trillion in 2017, according to the CIA’s World Factbook.
Citi economists Dana Peterson and Catherone Mann reportedly said in a research note: “The greater vulnerability of women to job losses is due to the segmentation of female laborers into sectors that are the most negatively affected by coronavirus disruptions.”
Why women are more vulnerable to job losses than men
Analysts said women are more vulnerable to job losses than men due to their high participation in industries such as hospitality, restaurants, health care to name a few.
Anthony Michelic, president of The PACE Group, said: “Fields that are male-majority (think primarily manufacturing, truck driving, resource extraction, and other outdoor work) are getting hit as well, but are still producing or transporting hard consumables that are being used in the marketplace.
Michelic said more jobs need to be opened in both male-dominated and female-dominated industries as the majority of female jobs being lost are not due to human influence but rather due to “sector risk exposure”.
Indeed, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warned in April: “In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, the fear is that gender employment gaps like these leave women more vulnerable than men to job loss; that women’s lesser status in the labour market leaves them more exposed and easier to lay off.”
Pialy Aditya, chief strategy officer at Republic, echoed this view. “Unfortunately, women are at a much higher risk for unemployment, particularly with this pandemic.
“According to the National Women’s Law Centre, women contributed to 49% of the overall workforce but as of April 2020, they attributed to 55% of job losses. We’ve seen industries impacted by COVID-19 – Hospitality, restaurants, retail, healthcare, education, and so on.”
Raymond Lee, founder and chief executive of Careerminds said “there are many free resources available to any furloughed or unemployed individuals that are looking to ‘upskill’ while under quarantine,” and sees this as a way to prevent the risks of thousands of women losing jobs.
It isn’t all negative, however, with Citi’s analysts noting – according to Bloomberg – that many pro-women employment policies that were instituted pre-pandemic could be expanded further in a post-coronavirus world.
“Many of the policies that promoted female labour force participation pre-coronavirus are even more suitable in a post- pandemic world,” the analysts wrote.
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