Impact of COVID-19 on the UK’s employment Dynamics

The tremors of coronavirus caused COVID-19 pandemic is still being faced by countries alike. As nations struggle to stop the spread of the virus by imposing strict protocols and lockdowns, fear arises about the future of the job market scenarios. Thoughts about companies laying off employees, possible shutdowns of firms or falling into administration, plunge in market value, etc. continue to plague decision-makers, founders, employees, and job-seekers worldwide. And the uncertainty about reopening and industry revival is piling up on the woes and existing economic losses.

The situation in countries like the UK, the USA, India, China, Australia, and other major industrial nations is grim. While the UK saw a steep loss of 42% of job vacancies in the last eight weeks, the USA too faced a plummeting 38% deficit in the job openings. Russia trailed behind in third place with vacancies falling at 32%.

Not only job losses, but pandemic has also caused damage to the existing market sector. For instance, according to a report by KPMG, India could be looking at a staggering 38 million loss in the travel and tourism sector alone. Some reports cite that due to the lockdown, India lost more manpower than the USA did during the great depression. Likewise in the UK to jobs falling 42% due to air-travel limitation.

Bearing the brunt of economic fallout the hospitality and catering industry fell to 49% globally, with a 74% reduction in the UK itself. An 8% decrease was observed compared to the previous week due to closed restaurants and hospitality values. Contrary to that there has been an increase in vacancies for domestic service and cleaning jobs nearly up 20% in the UK, compared to globally where these roles have fallen by 12%. The energy industry has also been hit hard with vacancies down 66%, admin roles have fallen by 63%, and HR and recruitment vacancies have fallen 61%.

Experts believe that art-related employment could be the worst hit due to lockdown. Museums are the best exemplar here. With the forecast of economic shrinkage by 35% in the Q2, independent institutions that usually depend on entrance fees and are not backed by regular grants or funding are thought to be most at risk. Association of Independent Museums (AIM) chairperson Andrew Lovett believes that while some may be permanently closed due to cash run-out, others would have to trim and cut opening hours, leading to job losses.

Surprisingly, divorce lawyers are reaping the benefits of this lockdown. As couples are reaching climax due to fear and frustration of job losses, mental health issues, and lifestyle adjustments, all leading to a huge opportunity for these lawyers and spike in divorce rates.

As the UK may have to counter its biggest economic rundown since world war-II, its unemployment is doubling up since lockdown. On Tuesday Pound slumped against the US dollar by 0.4%. Although GDP may increase after the lockdown is lifted, it will take a while for market and job scenario to return of normalcy.