By Alison Winter

Researchers on the Turing's Finance and Economics programme have published growing evidence that lockdown has had particularly negative impacts on young people’s labour market outcomes.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) project, Understanding The Changing World of Work, received funding from the Turing-HSBC-ONS Economic Data Science Awards 2018, and was set up to examine how technology is enabling and encouraging more specialisation by firms in the tasks they carry out. The project applies data science techniques and microeconometric methods to UK microdata in order to understand how this specialisation has affected the employment opportunities of different kinds of workers.

The specific research on COVID-19 lockdown finds that the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to severely disrupt the career progression of young workers, suggesting that negative economic impacts on this age group may last well beyond the easing of lockdown. 

Agnes Norris Keiller, an author of the briefing note and a Research Economist at IFS, said:

"The recession associated with the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to be doubly bad for early-career workers, because the particular sectors being hardest hit are very disproportionately likely to employ them. Indeed, early-career workers have become more concentrated in those lockdown sectors over time. Without effective action, young people are likely to find the economic costs of COVID-19 persist far beyond the pandemic itself."

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Read IFS press release