Who is bearing the brunt of Covid-19 job losses?

Studies reveal pandemic’s impact on the UK’s youngest, oldest and disabled workers

No sector of the UK workforce has escaped the wide-ranging impact of job losses as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, three new studies show.

Research by the London School of Economics (LSE) found that young people in the UK are more than twice as likely to lose their jobs than slightly older workers with more of a foothold on the job ladder.

In the past two months, 11.1% of people aged between 16 to 25 have been made unemployed, compared with 4.6% of those aged 26 and over. The data highlights “the growing divisions in the workplace”, says The Guardian says.

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The LSE researchers also found that women, self-employed people and those who grew up in a poor family were more likely to experience job losses and wage cuts.

And they “warned the spectre of 1980s-style long-term unemployment was increasing, especially for those just starting to make their way in the jobs market”, the newspaper adds.

Separate research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) shows how middle-class and older workers are being impacted too, with many facing long spells out of work and pay cuts of more than 25% as companies make cuts ahead of the end of the furlough scheme at the end of this month.

Manufacturing hubs such as Wolverhampton and commuter towns such as Brighton, Luton and Slough have already seen “sharp rises in numbers on the dole since March”, The Times reports.

CEBR deputy chair Doug McWilliams said: “The middle class is likely to get hit much worse as we go on. A lot of management jobs have gone, a lot of professional jobs have gone, and some specialist ones. The middle classes have a jobs crisis – their pensions are squeezed and house prices will be lower.”

Meanwhile, a survey by the Leonard Cheshire charity reveals that two in five hiring managers regard “being able to support” disabled people properly during the coronavirus pandemic as a barrier to recruitment, the BBC reports.

The charity says that about seven in ten disabled people have seen their income drop, been furloughed or have feared redundancy as a result of Covid-19.

Of the 7.7 million disabled people of working age in the UK, 53.6% are currently in work, compared with 81.7% of working-age people who are not disabled, according to the Office for National Statistics.

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Chas Newkey-Burden has been part of The Week Digital team for more than a decade and a journalist for 25 years, starting out on the irreverent football weekly 90 Minutes, before moving to lifestyle magazines Loaded and Attitude. He was a columnist for The Big Issue and landed a world exclusive with David Beckham that became the weekly magazine’s bestselling issue. He now writes regularly for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Metro, FourFourTwo and the i new site. He is also the author of a number of non-fiction books.