Australia’s opposition Labour Party, in a speech on Monday warned of an impending `tsunami’ of job losses in male-dominated industries.
Clare O’Neil, Labor’s shadow minister for innovation, technology and the future of work, said that while women bore the brunt of job losses as a result of the coronavirus restrictions, men were suffering from the sustained economic downturn.
She told the McKell Institute, a public policy institute, that there is “a tsunami coming for workers in predominantly male industries’’, calling for more nuance in the discussion around gender and work.
“Women had it worse to begin with. Now it is men. And there is evidence that as the month’s progresses we may see more of this,’’ O’Neil said.
“Lockdowns affect women more than men but the downturns that follow will probably affect men more than women.
“For many Australian men, things are going backwards and the public discussion just doesn’t reflect their reality.’’
Official figures showed that in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, the male unemployment rate in September was 7.8 per cent.
It shows that there was an increase of up to 2.5 percentage points from March, compared to a female unemployment rate of 6.5 per cent.
Male unemployment in Queensland was 8.75 per cent compared to 6.5 per cent for women.