Women's industries should be focus of stimulus funding, thinktank argues

Women's industries should be focus of stimulus funding, thinktank argues

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The Australia Institute said the pandemic has disproportionately impacted women.

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Female-led industries should be the priority for post-pandemic stimulus funding, a political thinktank has argued.

The Australia Institute, a left-leaning research and policy organisation, has said that women have been and will be more negatively affected than men, and called for government stimulus funding to reflect this.

The leads co-authors Richard Denniss and David Richardson have argued the gender distribution of the effects on the labour markets have not been sufficiently highlighted.

"Despite the fact that women have borne a disproportionate share of the recent increase in unemployment the stimulus measures announced to date have tended to disadvantage casuals (where women are overrepresented) and been focused on specific industries such as construction (where women are underrepresented)," the report said.

The report argued that spending on education, health and hospitality create more job per million dollars of stimulus than other forms of spending, "and so many more jobs for women in particular".

"Our results show that for every million dollars spent on new construction spending only 0.2 direct jobs for women will be created while a million dollars spent on education is likely to create 10.6 jobs."

The report cited the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures which showed women's employment fell more sharply than in both full-time roles and for those in casual roles.

The ABS said overall employment fell by 5.3 per cent for women and 3.9 per cent for men, but full time work - where women are underrepresented - 2.2 per cent of men lost work compared to 2.5 per cent of women.

The authors said construction was commonly touted as an economic stimulator.

"While all increases in public spending create jobs in a recession, not all increases in spending will create the same amount of jobs.

"The role of different industries in creating different numbers of jobs for men and women has been less commonly considered."

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