Ever since the pandemic began last March, the whole working world was forced to re-evaluate everything that had previously been considered the ‘norm’.
From adapting workplace responsibilities so that individuals would be able to Work from Home, to enrolling in the Government’s Job Retention Scheme, and in more unfortunate cases, having to fire employees.
However, in more positive news, the country is slowly recovering from this and there appears to be a gradual return to pre-Covid conditions.
So, what have we found out about the effects of Covid on the workplace?
As you probably can guess, employment rates plummeted when the country was in and out of lockdowns for a year. Before the pandemic, the country was at a 74.8% employment rate which dropped down to 72%.
Between the months of March – May 2021 32.18 million people were employed, which is a big improvement from December 2020 – February 2021 which had 25,000 less.
The redundancy rates, though peaking at a whopping 14.4 thousand people mid pandemic, have now managed to return to pre-Covid numbers of 3.8 thousand, four and a half times less than the staggering rise.
This is an extremely positive sign for the country as it shows that it is not impossible for the to return to a state of normality again.
Impact on Graduates
There is some positive news for new graduates, despite the general economic strain on the country, the average starting salary for graduates gradually increased.
In 2019 the average salary for graduates was £24,134.
In 2020 the average salary for graduates was £24,449.
In 2021 the average salary for graduates was £25,439.
There has been an increase this year of nearly a thousand pounds, which is very promising for the working climate and graduates.
However, this is only a small victory. Over 2020 the new graduate unemployment rate between the ages of 21-30 was up to 6.3%.
The Government Retention Scheme being introduced meant that the Government were now paying 80% of millions of people’s wages. This obviously caused a big strain on the Government’s spending ever since the pandemic hit the country.
This scheme amounted to a total of 11.6 million jobs on furlough since the beginning of lockdown.
This then reduced to 5.1 million in January 2021.
Now this number is down to only 1.9 million jobs as of June 2021.
There have been a lot of ups and downs over the year, with it looking quite dire in a lot of areas.
However, according to LinkedIn there are some job sectors that are on the rise. The top three that they list are:
E-commerce – this includes Delivery Drivers, Package Handlers and Supply Chain Specialists, etc.
Health Care Supporting Staff – this includes Home Health Aides and Wellness Coaches, etc.
Digital Content Freelancers – this includes those with Podcasting, YouTube, and Blogging skills.
Though, where there are peaks there are also valleys. Some areas were not so successful over the past year. With certain spaces, like theatres, having to completely close for the country’s safety, there was no possibility of financial stability whilst they were closed.
In Europe, the sectors with the biggest loss of jobs were in food service activities, retail trade, and accommodation. In food service activities in the EU-27, almost 1.3 million people lost their jobs, of which more than 700,000 were women.
In July 2021, the government borrowed £10.4 billion. This may sound like a lot, but it is extremely lower than a year before when the July 2020 statistic shows that the government borrowed nearly double that, at £10.1 billion more.
This is thanks to the removal of most Covid restrictions. With the decline in paying for furlough to 10 million people, this is bound to have saved the Government a lot of money.
And, although this is an incredible drop since last July, it is still the second highest amount borrowed since the records began.
So, overall, the country has been through a lot ever since 26th March 2020. There have been so many ups and downs, but all correlations tend to suggest that the country will ultimately improve in terms of jobs and economy with everything getting back to pre-pandemic conditions.