This is the 4th insights digest of Segmanta’s Life During COVID-19 study. We conducted research in the U.S. and the U.K. to understand how the recent pandemic has impacted consumerism, personal relationships, the job market, along with general beliefs and opinions during this unusual time. More than 2,000 respondents completed the survey.
The economic fallback triggered by the COVID-19 global pandemic was swift and unanticipated by even the most acute observer. According to research by the Institute for Social and Economic Research, industries most affected by the lockdown were tourism, sports, entertainment, retail, hospitality, and fintech. Many businesses were suddenly forced to shut down; those businesses that remained open laid off or furloughed many of their employees while others were ordered to continue working remotely.
In order to understand the influence of COVID-19 on the job market, Segmanta asked more than 2,000 people from the U.K. and the U.S. about their employment status, working situation, and their major concerns about the financial/economic outlook during the quarantine period.
According to our survey, 70% of the U.K. respondents cited that they were employed during the pandemic, compared to 58% of the U.S. respondents. Our study mainly targeted mothers from both countries and around 24% of them said that they were unemployed before the pandemic. 12% of overall respondents said they were unemployed or furloughed during the COVID-19 crisis.
Childcare was mentioned as extremely challenging amongst employed respondents who mainly worked from home during the pandemic. In the absence of school, daycares, and nurseries, 60% of surveyed parents say they cared for their children in shifts so that both parents could both work. When it comes to shopping habits, we found that 98% of the unemployed respondents bought groceries at their local supermarkets to avoid high delivery fees from online grocers before COVID-19 took place. Then it dropped to 78% while physically going to stores was restricted during social distancing.
Amongst those who have lost their jobs, some may also have lost their job-based healthcare benefits. 42% of respondents worry about their family’s financial stability while 29% are concerned about the future of their job. Those who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 are 6X more likely to worry about job security compared to those who were unemployed prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Reduced working hours and job termination not only financially challenged these families, but also greatly upset those who had to leave the jobs they were passionate about.
. . .
How are the two governments alleviating the economic burdens of its people during an unprecedented crisis like COVID-19? The U.K. government covered expenses to keep workers on the payroll and eliminated layoffs while the U.S. government sent stimulus checks directly to people’s bank accounts. Both countries offered funds to support small businesses that were struck by the pandemic. As mentioned in our previous article, compared to the U.S., the U.K. respondents were more satisfied with their government’s job aid measurements. Reshaping the economy and strengthening the economic safety nets for the people is the priority of world leaders at the moment.