In September 2008, more than 161 thousand unemployment (WW) benefits were paid. The number has declined relative to the end of the last economic boom. In October 2001, 163 WW benefits were paid, i.e. 36 thousand down on September 2007.
WW benefits, January 1998 – September 2008
More female claimants
The proportion of female unemployment benefit claimants is rising. In September this year, 49 percent of benefits were received by women, as against 42 percent a decade ago. The increase is caused by a higher female participation rate on the labour market. The proportion of women in the labour force has risen from 40 to 44 percent over the past decade.
WW benefits by gender
Many older men receive unemployment benefits
Nearly half of male WW benefit recipients are 55 or older, while 30 percent of recipients in this age category are women. Under the age of 55, more women than men receive WW benefits. Re-entering the labour market is problematic, once older people have become unemployed. The period of entitlement is proportional to their employment record.
WW benefits by gender and age, September 2008