The asymmetrical impact of the covid-19 crisis on the European labour market

Cesira Urzi Brancati, Songül Tolan, Enrique Fernández-Macías, Ignacio González Vázquez, Marta Fana and Sergio Torrejón Pérez, European Commission’s Joint Research Centre

The impact that the coronavirus crisis is having on employment is clearly unequal, both among countries and based on worker characteristics. Lockdown measures and the restrictions imposed on activity have jeopardised employment more in some Mediterranean countries (such as Spain). As for workers, it is those with lower salaries, or in precarious forms of employment, as well as young people and women who are included among the people most affected.
Key points
  • 1
       The impact that the covid-19 crisis is having on the labour market is stronger in some Mediterranean countries, such as Spain, as they are countries with a greater proportion of jobs in sectors whose activity has been more negatively affected by the lockdown measures (hotel and catering, leisure and personal services such as, for example, hair salons and dry cleaners.
  • 2
       The impact of the crisis is concentrated on some of the most vulnerable groups in the labour market: workers with low salaries and in precarious jobs, as well as women and young workers.
  • 3
       The crisis has extended the use of teleworking on a major scale, to nearly all those jobs and sectors that allow it.Some of the countries most affected by the crisis (including Spain and Italy) had, prior to it, a comparatively low level of teleworking.
Spain: among those countries with a higher percentage of jobs suspended due to the covid-19 crisis
Spain: among those countries with a higher percentage of jobs suspended due to the covid-19 crisis

Spain and Italy are among the countries most affected by the covid-19 crisis. This is due to these countries having a higher proportion of jobs in sectors that have been forced to close due to lockdown measures: activities related with leisure and wellbeing, tourism, personal services, etc. These sectors total up to 14.2% of total employment in Spain, against the 9.9% average in the block formed by the EU and the United Kingdom. In contrast, the Member States of the centre and north of the EU have a higher proportion of sectors that remain active (whose activity has not been suspended) despite the crisis, because they are essential or allow teleworking, therefore the impact of lockdown on employment is smaller.

Classification

Authors

Cesira Urzi Brancati, Songül Tolan, Enrique Fernández-Macías, Ignacio González Vázquez, Marta Fana and Sergio Torrejón Pérez , European Commission’s Joint Research Centre

Tags

Subject areas

Related content

Article

The evolution of employment precarity among young people in Spain, 2008-2018

Labour precarity among young people especially affects women. They occupy worse-paid positions with higher rates of temporary work than men.

Article

The presence of immigrants in local politics is well below their demographic weight in Spanish society

Do municipal councils in Spain reflect the diversity of origins of the population? We analyse access to local politics for immigrants and whether differences exist between the different foreign groups.

Best practices

CURANT

What to do with young, unaccompanied refugees who at the age of 18 have their state tutelage removed? In Belgium, they voted for a comprehensive individualised accompaniment and support from young native people with whom they are co-housed.

Best practices

Neighbourhood Mothers

Through the training of immigrant mothers, so that they can act as “neighbourhood mothers”, this action, carried out in Denmark, is successful in transmitting to women from ethnic minorities their rights and obligations in the host country.

Best practices

From Refugees to Citizens

“From refugees to citizens” is the slogan for the project of the German city of Altena to facilitate the social integration of refugees and asylum seekers. The distinctive trait of this experience is the leading role played by civil society.

You may also find interesting

Article

Involuntary and dependent self-employment in Spain

Involuntary and dependent self-employment in Spain

Social Inclusion

Involuntary self-employment in Spain (21.7% of self-employed people) exceeded the European average (16.9%) in 2017. This study indicates that involuntary self-employment is common among young people and people with a low educational level.

Article

Being a micro-influencer: an unsustainable activity for young people

Being a micro-influencer: an unsustainable activity for young people

Social Inclusion

Does it pay to be a micro-influencer? Some 62% of those interviewed in this study are dissatisfied with their earnings in relation to the impact that they generate in their communities.

Article

Immigrants’ names as an initial factor of discrimination

Immigrants’ names as an initial factor of discrimination

Social Inclusion

An experiment with an amateur football team reveals difficulties in social integration for people of foreign origin. When faced with similar profiles, team managers tended towards choosing players with local names.