Whether we like it or not, we have all been affected by COVID-19 in one way or another. The effects of the national health crisis have hit some harder than other it seems.

We all have that one friend who always has to have it slightly worse off than the rest of us but personal effects only represent part of the overall picture. We want to talk about the groups of people that have been most economically affected by the coronavirus, both in the short and long term.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has been looking into the sectors that have been most exposed to the coronavirus and what that means for different groups. At a glance, it seems young workers, the worst-paid and women will be most affected economically, and there are a couple of reasons why this is.

The closure of a number of sectors, including restaurants, shops and leisure facilities have contributed largely to the changes experienced by most. The IFS analysis showed:

  • The lockdown will hit young workers the hardest. Employees aged under 25 were about two and a half times as likely to work in a sector that is now shut down as other employees.
  • Low earners are seven times as likely as high earners to have worked in a sector that is now shut down.
  • Women were about one third more likely to work in a sector that is now shut down than men.
  • One mitigating factor is that the majority of the affected younger workers and lower earners live with parents or others
  • Another particular problem for young people is that within the next few months, many will be finishing their GCSE's, A-Levels/BTECs or degrees and will be entering the labour market. It is going to be challenging for many people to find a job given the current circumstances, especially for those people with little industry experience. Although many larger apprenticeship, entry-level and graduate schemes will traditionally start in September, it is still uncertain whether many of those opportunities will still be there in a few months' time.

    What does all of this mean?

    Throughout the last few weeks, we have been giving you lots of advice on the coronavirus and although we still want to continue to be positive, we want to give you an honest outlook of what it means for you. Unfortunately, as we look into the near future, young people are going to be one of the worse economically affected groups. This means that there will be a lot of unemployed people and fewer opportunities for those people to apply for as the economy begins to recover. This means that there is going to be a real increase in the number of people applying for each job so they will become more competitive. This being said, it's not all doom and gloom as there are things you can be doing to improve your chances of finding an opportunity and getting it.

    Improve your GetMyFirstJob profile

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    Write or rewrite your CV

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    Spend the lockdown period wisely

    Rather than just binge-watching boxsets, you could volunteer or even do some online courses. Make sure you talk about it on your CV!

    Keep your eye out for new opportunities

    Although it might feel a little pointless at the moment, make sure you regularly check job websites so you see any new opportunities straight away and you can be one of the first applicants!

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