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Redundancy Figures Show One In Seven Brits Has Lost Their Job Since 2008, Men Worse Hit Over Five Years

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One in seven Brits has lost their job since the start of the recession, with men hit worse than women
One in seven Brits has lost their job since the start of the recession, with men hit worse than women

New research has found that the total number of people who've been made redundant since the start of 2008 reached 3.5 million - equivalent to one in every seven employees.

Of those who lost their jobs, 63.3% are men and 36.7% women. The peak year for redundancies for both sexes was 2009, but women's redundancies increased as a share of total job losses in 2011 and 2012, due to the high number of public sector job cuts.

Public sector jobs were cut across the board - the share of total redundancies accounted for by the public administration, education and health sectors increased from 8% to 25% between 2009 and 2011, before falling back to 16% in 2012.

Despite the gloomy figures, economist John Philpott believes redundancy rates are lower than in the late 1990s and the early 2000s.

"Redundancy is obviously painful for those affected but is not always a sign of economic distress. On the contrary it can accompany good times if organisations are busily restructuring and boosting productivity, which helps improve prosperity," he said in his blog.

"Remarkably therefore, the total number of people made redundant since the start of the deepest and longest economic crisis since the 1930s is the same as the number made redundant in the five years boom years to 2003.

Although the deep recession in 2008-9 triggered a sharp spike in redundancies initially, the redundancy rate has subsequently fallen back and currently shows no sign of rising substantially above the pre-recession rate, he added.

Philpott believes what we are seeing now in terms of redundancy could become out new normal - rather than blaming the financial crisis, the pay restraints since 2008 and the labour figures from companies struggling to stay alive, this is symptomatic of a longer term structural change in the economic and business climate, which has resulted in a lower tendency to make staff redundant.

"The fall in the normal rate of redundancy might therefore indicate that the current productivity malaise is not merely a consequence of the financial crisis and resulting major recession but has its roots in economic developments prior to the crisis, which bodes ill for future growth prospects," he added.

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