Two quick notes by Ishan Khurana and Will Stronge
April 13 2020
Which workers are being laid off in this COVID-19 crisis? Which workers are being asked to work longer hours?
The following plots are from the most recent Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS). This qualitative, fortnightly survey covers business turnover, workforce, prices and trade. These data are currently unweighted and should be treated with a certain amount of caution regarding claims about the UK economy overall. Nevertheless, they have been developed to deliver timely indicators to help understand the impact of COVID-19 on industry and workers. We’ve picked out two striking findings to note here.
Figure 1: Which workers are being laid off?
52% of businesses in accommodation & food services said they are laying people off
Average weekly pay in this industry is just £264 per week
Figure 2: Which workers are being asked to work longer hours?
Not all workers are being laid off however; the picture is more mixed. Figure 2 shows the % of businesses by Industry (SIC) that responded saying they are actually ‘increasing working hours’ for their workforces. The health and social care industry is somewhat of an outlier – as might be expected, given the COVID-19 pandemic. 21.5% of businesses in this sector are actually recruiting more workers in the short term.
From the BICS sample, we can also some gender disparities here:
- 40% of health and social care businesses are increasing working hours (as seen in Figure 2).
- 78% of the employees in this industry are women (3.5 million women are employed in this sector).
40% of health and social care businesses are increasing working hours.
78% of employees in this industry are women.
Note and data sources
The survey was sent to around 17,800 UK businesses and covers the period between 9th of March and 2nd April. Results presented in this release are based on a limited number of responses – around 25.9% (4,598) of all businesses that were surveyed responded. Full Readme can be found here.
The average wage by industry data is from EARN03 which can be found here.