The CoVid-19 pandemic has awoken many to the role that key workers play in our society. But who exactly are they, and what do we know about them? This short article provides a summary of analysis carried out using pre-crisis Labour Force Survey data to help give us a basic understanding of this group of workers.
This morning the ONS released the latest data from the Labour Force Survey. This is the main source for high quality data about what is happening in the labour market in the UK, and the regions and nations.
Today’s data cover the period up to the end of March, and so include the initial period of lockdown in the UK following in late March.
Data from DWP on new claims and new starters onto the main out of work benefit, Universal Credit (UC), were also released this morning. They cover broadly the period to mid-April and give us an indication of those turning to the social security system for support following a drop in their earnings in the first few weeks of the lockdown.
This article provides an overview of what this data tells us so far. Overall, we have seen a fall in employment, hours and pay and this has fed through to Universal Credit claims. As charts later on in this article show, some of the shifts that have happened in these data are unlike anything seen before. Undoubtedly, these figures would have been a lot worse without UK Government schemes, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), but even so, it appears that many households in Scotland are facing a significant financial impact.
This report offers a few thoughts at an early stage of this COVID-19 crisis, largely with the objective of stimulating further reflection and analysis, and generating much better thoughts.
The primary concern now should, unambiguously, be heavily skewed to this phase of the crisis – which may not necessarily be very short term. It is a critical, humanitarian phase in which the health imperatives and the medical needs and food supply take on an unprecedented importance for each person – and especially the most vulnerable in our societies – and for us collectively.
But it is already urgent, too, to understand the future and how we rapidly design and build a future that is sustainable.
You can read the full report here.
The construction industry has been disrupted enormously over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic, not least because that vast majority of the workforce is not able to work from home. Whilst the official UK Government advice is for sites to continue to operate if work can be carried out at safe social-distances, the Scottish Government has advised all non-essential construction work to stop. This has meant site-closures across Scotland and, inevitably, drastically reduced activity in the sector.
We can’t say with any certainty the damage the pandemic will have on the sector. We do know, however, that the effects of any impacts will be widespread – on the latest available data, the construction sector is estimated to account for 5.8% of GDP and roughly 6.6% of employment, or around 177,000 people.
Today we’ve received new labour market statistics from the ONS. It is important to note at the outset that these relate to the period before the UK economy went in to lockdown.
This means that the data today tell us little, if anything, about how the economy is doing right now. But they do tell us about the health of the labour market going in to this pandemic.
In this article, we do three things: examine what the labour market data released today tells us, set out what other data are available that shed light on or scenario for the path of the economy at the moment, and set out the key timings for future data releases on the economy.