Covid-19's impact on business and employment
When it comes to employment, Covid-19 is wrecking ball that no one saw coming. The UK has had three lockdowns so far, and possibly more to come, each with strict social distancing and work-from-home instructions. With so many businesses forced to shut their doors or function way below capacity, many workers have been made redundant or had their salaries cut and placed on the government’s furlough scheme.
In lockdowns, only essential workers providing medical care, food, or electricity, have been able to operate as normal, which means that other industries have lost money in sales, while still having to pay rent and other essential business costs.
Especially hard hit are industries such as aviation and transport, oil and gas, and retail and hospitality. However, most businesses have suffered in one way or another. With so businesses closed and many people out of work, there are less people are spending, and country’s overall economy has been impacted.
The recruitment industry, too, has suffered due to Covid-19. Less businesses have the means to create and offer new roles, making it harder for recruitment agencies to place candidates in permanent and even temporary roles.
So, which industries have suffered the most?
Non-essential journeys cross-countries and continents has been halted by pretty much every country on the globe, grounding fleets of aeroplanes. This left air stewardesses, engineers, and big companies such as Rolls Royce and other air travel manufacturers in turmoil.
In fact, Sky reported that one pilot had had resorted to a job as a pizza delivery driver. Meanwhile, some stewardesses have reportedly considered getting jobs in covid testing and vaccination programmes.
Hospitality and leisure
Hospitality and leisure have faced the longest periods of closures. After the first lockdown, the government tried to help hospitality venues to get back on their feet by offering the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, but this didn’t last long before another lockdown was necessary.
Therefore, these venues have had to continue covering costs such as rent and salaries, while not creating any revenue through sales. Their workforces have been cut as a result and many businesses have gone bust.
It goes without saying, but transport such as the rail, bus, and taxi has been in far less demand while people have been avoiding non-essential journeys. This means many engineers, bus drivers, and other rail workers have been left on furlough or made redundant, and there’s a short demand for new workers.
There are new challenges for recruiters too. The job market is not as fruitful as it used to be and job vacancies have dropped significantly, making it harder for recruitment agencies to place people into work. Statistics show that there has been a 26% decrease in the number of job vacancies in January 2021 compared to November 2020, which isn’t surprising considering the number of businesses that have have to shut.
Furthermore, new analysis has found that 18 to 24-year-olds has seen the greatest decrease, so young people are the hardest hit. This is why the government launched the Kickstart Scheme to work with local employers to help assist young people back into work.
Oil and gas
The oil and gas industry is estimated to be one of the hardest hit, too. According to Deloitte, oil prices have dropped since the start of Covid-19 due to failed agreements on production cuts and a reduced demand for chemicals and refined products caused by wider travel restrictions and industrial slow-downs.
Spending, overall, is at an all-time low. With people only permitted to go outside for essential reasons, people are spending less on things like food, transport, and non-essential items. Therefore, the overall economy has suffered as a result, and less money is going back into businesses.
How quickly will things get back to normal?
Whichever way you look at it, the impact of Covid-19 and its lockdowns on employment and the economy is going to be profound and long-lasting. It’s real impact on businesses perhaps won’t be known immediately, but it will unravel as the years progress.