Young workers twice as likely to have lost their job during the pandemic

Nathan Czapnik, is a member of the YCL’s London District 

In a report from the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics (LSE) titled ‘Generation COVID and Social Mobility: Evidence and Policy’, it has been shown that young workers aged 16-25 have been hit the hardest employment-wise since the pandemic began. 

Originally published on October 26th, the report surveyed an estimated 10,000 people between the months of September and October.

The report showed that the unemployment rate between the age backets 16-25 and 26-65 were starkly different, with the former at 18.3 percent and the latter at 11.9 percent.

On top of this, it was reported that “more than one in 10 people aged 16-25 have lost their job, and just under six in 10 have seen their earnings fall since the coronavirus pandemic began.”

In addition, 7.3 percent of young people are currently working on zero hours contracts where employment protections remain minimal.

Foreseeing the effects of the post-pandemic recession, co-author of the report Professor Stephen Machin estimates that unemployment will still sharply increase and that long-term the pandemic will have a greatly negative effect “on earnings and jobs for 10 to 15 years, … affecting other outcomes including general health and the likelihood of entering a life of crime.”

The pandemic’s effects on the events, retail, services, aviation and tourism industries have been some of the most damning so far and the second lockdown, although being a necessary means of reducing the spread of coronavirus, has increased job scarcity and the rollout of redundancies.

On Tuesday, 10th October, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that there had been a total of 314,000 job redundancies made between the months of July and September in Britain (190,000 more than the whole of 2019).

782,000 people have been made unemployed in Britain since March when the first lockdown came into place.

For self-employed young people, the lack of financial assistance from the likes of Rishi Sunak and his Tory peers has put many off from remaining in their jobs.

A new report from LSE titled ‘Covid-19 and the self-employed: six months into the crisis’, stated that 58 percent of the UK’s 5 million self-employed had substantially less work than before; a fifth of those self-employed were prepared to quit their jobs and for self-employed workers under the age of 25, 58 percent were prepared to quit their jobs.

Sunak’s self-employment income support scheme (SEISS) has had minimal help for many freelancers and contractors.

The Treasury select committee has also stated that over a million workers have slipped through the support net and not been provided with adequate financial assistance.

As the pandemic continues, more and more workers regardless of age will be made redundant as business either close down or shed company jobs.

With scarce job opportunities due to high densities of job applications and a Tory government unable to provide those out of work with a sufficient income for their means of subsistence, the future of employment appears bleak.

However, we must keep challenging our current government’s despicable neglect for many millions of people up and down this country who are out of work and living in poverty conditions.

We must also continue to hold bosses accountable for the increased exploitation of workers that has been happening during lockdown with PPE supply, pay and redundancy rollouts regardless of whether their business has lost profits from the pandemic.

Nathan Czapnik

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