1. Home
  2. Presse
  3. iwd
  4. Unemployment: Two of every three new jobs go to women
Holger Schäfer iwd 18. Februar 2016

Unemployment: Two of every three new jobs go to women

Unemployment often has a stronger impact on women than men, especially in southern Europe. Yet the situation gradually seems to be turning around, in spite of the euro and economic crisis. And in traditional industrialised countries such as Germany, women are the clear winners in the employment upturn.

The gender gap in unemployment in the EU-28 is not obvious at first glance. In December 2015, an average of 9.0 per cent of men and 9.1 per cent of women in the EU were unemployed.

However, considerable differences can be seen between the individual member countries. Unemployment is significantly higher for women than men in southern European countries, where joblessness is a major concern, particularly in Greece and Spain (see chart). However, in countries with a low unemployment rate, such as Austria, the United Kingdom and Germany, women are less likely than men to be jobless.

In nearly every EU country, gender-specific unemployment rates have been shifting in favour of women since the global economic crisis began in 2009.

In Greece unemployment among women was 2.5 times as high as among men ten years ago; today, it is one-fourth again as high.

In France half again as many women as men were unemployed in 2001; in 2015, women were less likely to be jobless than men.

Job opportunities have clearly improved for women in Europe, even if there is some catching up to be done in the southern countries. This better performance lies largely in their occupational choices. Many women work in service industries, such as healthcare or education, that are not particularly vulnerable to economic fluctuations. In contrast, men are often employed in industry, which is highly sensitive to the health of the economy.

Even if Germany’s industrial sector is still going strong, the country cannot fail to recognise the strong trend towards a services economy. This is especially true in light of the many industrial companies now offering the corresponding services along with their products. And the refugee crisis has created a new demand for occupations that have a strong female representation, such as social workers and elementary school teachers.

The following two comparisons show how structural change is putting the employment market into a spin:

  • Between 2001 and 2015, a good 600,000 industrial jobs in Germany were eliminated for men, and an equal number for women.
  • At the same time, 1.6 million new jobs were created in the education, healthcare and social services sector – with more than 1.2 million of them going to women.

Of all of the jobs created between 2001 and 2015, 64 per cent have gone to women.

Mehr zum Thema

Artikel lesen
Unkenntliche junge Frau, die auf ihrem Laptop tippt.
Mareike Decker / Carolin Fulda / Maisun Lange IW-Trends Nr. 4 24. November 2023

Arbeiten mit Long COVID: Auswirkungen und Möglichkeiten der Arbeitsgestaltung

Nach einer SARS-CoV-2-Infektion kann es zu gesundheitlichen Langzeitfolgen, auch als Long COVID bezeichnet, kommen. Dies betrifft häufig Personen im erwerbsfähigen Alter.


Artikel lesen
Helena Bach IW-Report Nr. 57 17. November 2023

Aktionsplan zur Stärkung der Tarifbindung – Für gute Arbeitsbedingungen und höhere Löhne

Die Forderung nach einer Stärkung der Tarifbindung stützt sich auf die Annahme, dass tarifliche Arbeitsbedingungen besser und gerechter sind als individuell ausgehandelte.


Mehr zum Thema

Inhaltselement mit der ID 8880