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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Women's jobs hit by austerity measures

European austerity has contributed to a decline in female job opportunities
European austerity impacts women
By Peter Brown 

The widespread, European financial crisis, and its subsequent austerity measures, has resulted in a trend of rampant decline in women’s employment opportunities.

In several European countries, attempts to fix the financial bleeding have included cutting public sector wages, increasing taxes and the near-complete overhauling of healthcare systems. Though some have resulted in a stop-gap, temporary fix, the long-term detriments are now coming to light.

Economic data

The latest economic data, compiled by the UK publication “The Guardian,” clearly shows that, since 2010, women have been most affected by the on-going recession at a rate of almost two-to-one. According to the Office for National Statistics Data, the size of the female, local government workforce is at an all-time low, dipping from 253,600 to 1.43 million since 2010. The rate at which female unemployment has risen (0.4 %) far outshines the rate for men, which has declined .5% during the same time period.

These numbers, coupled with the price increase in fuel, food and basic necessities, have caused the majority of economically-fragile households to begin making preparations for the worst. This is especially true in those households in which multiple careers are a requirement to survive.


The overall consensus is that the situation seems to be a clear indication of the fact that the government policies have had a negative impact on women and the public now seeks answers about how it plans to redress the situation.

Throughout history, regardless of country, women have often faced disproportionate wage and employment opportunities, as compared to their male counterparts. As such, there is a very severe possibility that the goals outlined by the austerity measures will not only be short-sighted, but may also lead to potentially disastrous consequences.


A tipping point in the austerity debate has been reached, as of late, as many have recognized the flawed policies and their detrimental results. With the International Monetary Fund (IMF) admitting the impact, the austerity measures have been shown to be more severe than previously thought. Unfortunately, law makers are unable - or unwilling - to make the necessary changes to ensure the cataclysmic demise of the female workforce remains in the distance.

It is not difficult, however, to see the potential light at the end of the financial tunnel, as it relates to the sweeping austerity measures. Civil and social investment, in industry, job training, education and enhanced career outlook can all be factors in achieving a more balanced and beneficial world-wide financial climate. All it will take is for a few strong-willed souls to rise in defense of the ideals of "working to live" not "living to work." In doing so, millions of people will be spared from the unending hardships they now face.

Across Europe

The Eurozone jobless rate rose to 12.1 per cent in May, up from 12.0 per cent in April, according to EU statistics office Eurostat. The youth unemployment rate was almost double that, at 23.8 per cent, as 3.5 million under-25s were unemployed in May. In Spain and Greece the youth unemployment rate was as high as one in two, according to Pay Data statistics.

About the author: Peter Brown is professionally involved in Human Resources and Pay Data statistics, providing businesses with insight, analysis and research.

* Image license: Woodsy; RGBStock royalty free