Economic Effects of Coronavirus in the UK?

As we draw closer to the middle of the current year, we can reflect on what a challenging year it’s been so far.

The Coronavirus outbreak has changed our lives in every possible manner. But as lockdowns and self-isolating measures have rolled by, most of us are adapting to a new normal.

The pandemic has affected not only British Citizens but also influenced people who hold a Tier 2 Visa or Tier 2 Change of employment.

So, as the current economy started to regain its strength, and people get back to work, we could take a closer look at the job market after the crisis.

An Overview

The UK imposed a lockdown on 23rd March and restricted people to avoid all sorts of professional and personal interactions.

The government introduced a furlough scheme on 20th April that acted as a lifeline for many people. This incentive is extended through October. While the furlough scheme has brought relief to many job-goers, there is a significant rise in the rate of unemployment.

In the four weeks, there were more than 856,000 people who applied for social assistance. According to LSE, the surging unemployment rates create fear and anxiety among those who retain their jobs.

All in all, over 40% of people say that their work routine has been affected due to the pandemic.

And this isn’t something happening in the UK only, as the global job market is facing more or less similar trends around the world.

Let’s take an example of the US here, where 1 in 4 American citizens are claiming unemployment incentives during this time.

In addition to that, recruiters in many countries have observed a sharp decline in hiring activity since the Covid-19 crisis began.

We know all of these statistics are making you feel low. But, it’s not all bad news.  Some industries are also experiencing growth during these unprecedented times.

For example, digital marketing agencies, dropshipping companies, and industries dealing with hygiene products and PPE have observed more than double growth during this span.

These industries are also hiring new workers, people are gradually returning to their routines, and the government is also supporting those who lost their jobs during the outbreak phase. So yes, we’re still hopeful that things will get back to normal soon.

How Recruiters Select and Interview Applicants During the Pandemic?

One of the biggest challenges for companies these days is to hire and interview new candidates while maintaining social distancing measures.

Many companies are still looking to fill vacancies during the pandemic. Amazon is hiring 75,000 new workers to keep up with demand during the crisis.

Similarly, healthcare centers and hospitals are also looking to extend their workforce due to Covid-19. However, social distancing measures, lockdowns, and government guidelines make conventional ways of hiring more challenging.

Despite difficulties, companies are finding new ways of recruiting essential staff. For instance, companies have shifted the traditional one-to-one interviewing model to more advanced and safe options.

Telephonic Interviews

Many companies are now gauging the applicant’s ability through telephone calls. If you’re searching for a new job and have been approached by the company through a phone call, you can expect questions about:

  • Your strengths/weaknesses
  • Why you’re a good fit for this job?
  • Your brief introduction
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Your management style, etc.

Video Interviews

During the pandemic, many of us have been using Skype and Zoom to connect with our loved ones. Businesses are also using these platforms to conduct interviews with candidates. It’s a safe substitute for one-to-one interviews.

Online Assessments

Assessments have always been an integral part of the recruitment process. Since in-person tests are not possible these days, businesses are turning to online testing procedures.

‘Work From Home’

The way we live and work has immensely changed over time. The current pandemic has given people an opportunity to work remotely.

Many companies have urged their workers to continue working from home (subject to the nature of their jobs).

While work-from-home is a new trend for many of us, it’s something a lot of people were doing before the pandemic. According to a report published by Airbnb, over 77% of UK workers feel that work-from-home opportunities are important.

Research also proves that workers who work remotely tend to be satisfied with their jobs and are more productive.

So, whether you’re on the job or searching for new job roles, the post-COVID-19 job market has more focus on work-from-home opportunities.

While this may add an element of flexibility for many, there are risks as well. It can be tough to decide on boundaries and not overwork. Also, the lack of communication could be a hurdle for many.

Industries Hit Hardest by Coronavirus

The Covid-19 crisis has disrupted the global job market. The advertised vacancies for April were 49% lower than they were last year in the UK.

But some sectors hit hardest by the pandemic. Even with social assistance and support from the UK government, the pressure has been immense on some businesses.

It’s not very easy to identify the sector that has been hit the hardest. But, based on downsizing and lost revenues, we’ve put together a list of industries that have been greatly affected by the pandemic.

Power and Energy

During lockdowns, everything inside the country has come to a standstill. The energy demand significantly reduced as transportation and trade across the globe halted at the height of lockdown.

According to statistics, there was a massive 18%-25% decline per week. With a decrease in energy demand, jobs across the UK also reduced significantly.

Manufacturing & Retail

The manufacturing sector in the UK has observed its worst decline during this crisis. Estimates suggest that employment in the manufacturing sector has reduced by up to 58% since this crisis began.

Similarly, all non-essential shops are closed. There was an 80% decline in job vacancies in the retail sector in April.

Almost all popular retail outlets have gone into administration since the start of the pandemic.

Food and Beverages

With bars and restaurants shut down during the lockdown, the food and drink sector has also experienced a sharp decline in sales during this pandemic.

But, industries including healthcare, online education, E-Commerce, pharmaceuticals, and gaming have seen increased demand during these challenging times.

During this pandemic, technology has played a critical role in keeping people and processes connected. Organizations are far more likely to interview and select candidates remotely.

In conclusion, whether you’re currently working or not, make sure you invest your resources and time into learning new skills.

Last but not least, follow the rules and stay safe.

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