Experts have cautioned employers against “last-in, first-out” policies as it emerged last week that young male workers were bearing the brunt of the credit crunch redundancies.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the number of people in full-time employment was down by 152,000 to 21.91 million in the three months to August.
Incredibly, there were 149,000 fewer men in work by August, and just 3,000 fewer women. Meanwhile, the number of under-25 workers dropped by 67,000, sparking warnings from experts that employers were axeing recent hires first.
Dianah Worman, diversity adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said she doubted employers were specifically choosing to let men go over women.
“Employers may be releasing those with less corporate knowledge to balance their books quickly, but they could be losing really good talent that cost a lot to recruit,” she told Personnel Today.
Ian Brinkley, associate director at the Work Foundation, said: “There’s a problem in the long run about young people who would fall into the no-employment, no-education gap and become disaffected.”
An ONS spokesman said a partial explanation could be the prevalence of men in the manufacturing and construction, where thousands have jobs have been axed.