The bulk of job losses during the Covid-19 pandemic will be female roles, a business chief has said ahead of the release of new unemployment figures today.
Roseann Kelly, chief executive of Women in Business, said she anticipates "a tsunami of redundancies, namely in the retail and hospitality sectors where women traditionally tend to be".
"Women will be hardest hit in terms of redundancies coming out of this pandemic," she said, adding that many have also fallen through the gap of current Government support schemes.
Richard Ramsey, Ulster Bank chief economist, predicted that the impact on women would not be as great as the impact on men of the 2008 "mancession". But he predicted that the present recession will be the worst ever to hit the services sector.
"I expect job losses to be more balanced from a gender perspective. In the last recession males outnumbered females two to one in terms of job losses," he said.
"Male employment fell by 8.4% while female employment fell by 4% as it was primarily male dominated construction and manufacturing industries impacted.
"This time the services sector is bearing the brunt. There are just slightly more than 50% of the workforce in retail and hospitality that are female so it won't be the equivalent."
And he predicted the labour market recovery would not begin until next year.