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Eric & Sons

Date published : January 14, 2010 - Montreal, Quebec

"It's hard to admit I need help." Eric’s a single dad, raising 2 boys in a recession that’s been particularly tough on guys.
 
Canada's "He-cession"

As of July, 2009, 71% percent of all Canadians who had lost jobs in the recession were men. Furthermore, although workers under 25 account for only 15 percent of the labour force, they represent over one third of the newly unemployed.

In a report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, “Canada’s He-cession,” authors Trish Hennessey and Armine Yainizyan note that the country’s unemployment gender gap is  “wider than at any time since Statistics Canada began collecting gender unemployment statistics in 1976.”

The gender discrepancy is explained largely by heavy losses in the manufacturing sector, where men dominate the work force. Almost two thirds of all Canadians who’ve been put out of work by this recession – over 215,000 from a total 370,000, as of July – were employed in manufacturing.

However, Hennessey and Yalnizyan predict this gender gap may narrow. Many economists are forecasting a second wave of job losses in the service sector, where women will be affected.

In the meantime, the “he-cession” has some observers speculating on the broader cultural impact of the crisis – with some predicting it will usher in an age of greater gender equality. Reihan Salam, a fellow with the New America Foundation, usually associated with more conservative causes, puts it this way: “It’s now fair to say that the most enduring legacy of the Great Recession will not be the death of Wall Street. It will not be the death of finance. And it will not be the death of capitalism. These ideas and institutions will live on. What will not survive is macho.” Read more of his argument here.

Some Figures

•    370,000: number of Canadians who lost their jobs between Oct 2008 and July 2009
•    262,00: number of Canadian men who lost jobs during same period.
•    217,00: number of Canadian manufacturing jobs cut during same period.
•    136,000: number of Canadians under 25 who’ve lost jobs during same period.
•    245,500: number of Ontarians who lost their jobs during same period.

References: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives; Statistics Canada; Foreign Policy, 18 June 2009
 
Field director
Dominic Morissette

Editor
Miguel Raymond

Director-coordinator
Hélène Choquette

Original score

Robert-Marcel Lepage


© 2009 NFB – All rights reserved
 
Is part of the story:
 
 
  • The gender gap among Canada's
  • unemployed is the widest since 1976,
  • when Statistics Canada began collecting
  • statistics relating to gender and unemployment.
  • Source: Centre for Policy Alternatives
 

Comments(1)

Compassion

 

By Mark Gates - Date published: January 22, 2010 - Vancouver, British Columbia

I'll come out of this crisis with more compassion towards others who are struggling. I'm more keenly aware that economies are largely beyond the control of the average person.

 

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