Are the youngsters alright_ The early careers of schooling leavers because the COVID-19 pandemic


There’s substantial proof from the UK and different international locations that getting into the labour market throughout a recession results in persistent destructive results on employment and earnings (von Wachter, 2020). Younger folks graduating from college or college throughout an financial downturn have a more durable time discovering employment, and people who do discover work could also be pressured to take jobs which might be much less well-suited to their expertise and the event of these expertise. This may hold them on poorer profession trajectories for years to return. The dearth of recent job vacancies additionally hampers the power of younger folks to maneuver between jobs searching for a greater match, which has been proven to be an more and more necessary manner for younger folks to advance their careers and enhance their pay (Blundell et al., 2020). The disruption attributable to recessions leaves persistent scars for brand new labour market entrants, which may take a number of years to get better from (Cribb, Hood and Joyce, 2017).

The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented labour market shock. Whole sectors have been shut down and, throughout the economic system, corporations responded to the massive uncertainty by pausing hiring. This led to a pointy rise in numbers not employed or working zero hours, which was significantly concentrated amongst youthful age teams. The pandemic and lockdowns led to a deterioration in psychological well being, which once more was largest for younger folks (Banks and Xu, 2020). In consequence, within the preliminary phases of the pandemic, many predicted that younger folks getting into the labour market throughout the pandemic would see long-lasting scars on their profession prospects (see, for instance, Del Bono and Holford, 2020; Johnson, 2020). Nonetheless, the size of the assist bundle applied by the UK authorities and the fast rebound of the economic system because the pandemic subsided might have gone a way towards mitigating – and maybe reversing – these results. The bizarre nature of the pandemic and subsequent restoration signifies that it isn’t apparent what to anticipate.

On this report, we current the primary proof on how the cohorts of younger individuals who entered the labour market throughout the pandemic have fared to this point. In Part 2, we talk about why we’d count on the pandemic to result in scarring results, documenting how labour market outcomes advanced over the pandemic and evaluating traits with the 2008 recession to display the magnitude of the COVID-19 shock for younger folks. In Part 3, we give attention to the cohorts of younger individuals who entered the labour market throughout the COVID-19 years, or simply earlier than, evaluating their employment charges and a number of measures of job high quality with these of earlier cohorts to evaluate the extent to which they’re more likely to expertise long-term scarring as results of the pandemic. In Part 4, we talk about the prospects for future cohorts as a result of enter the labour market within the coming years. We conclude in Part 5.

Key findings

1. Proof from earlier recessions tells us that younger individuals who enter the labour market throughout downturns are inclined to expertise worse profession outcomes that take a number of years to get better from. In 2020–21, the entire variety of hours labored by these aged 16–24 dropped by a fifth year-on-year. The loss in working expertise and the diminished capability to maneuver up the profession ladder throughout the pandemic, coupled with shocks to psychological well being, may very well be anticipated to go away long-lasting scars on current graduates.

2. The cohort that graduated in 2020, significantly people with college levels, initially noticed worse outcomes on some measures. They struggled to search out work three to 6 months after commencement, have been much less more likely to obtain on-the-job coaching of their first yr, and people with levels began in lower-paid occupations than earlier cohorts.

3. Nonetheless, the employment charges of the 2020 cohort had absolutely recovered 9 to 12 months after commencement, and one to 2 years after commencement there have been no apparent variations from the earlier cohort throughout a variety of job high quality measures. It seems that the fast financial restoration and the increase in new job vacancies since 2021 allowed new entrants to rapidly get better misplaced floor.

4. Other than the 2020 cohort, different cohorts who entered the labour market throughout or simply earlier than the pandemic didn’t see slower occupational development or have worse job high quality, with one exception: these from deprived backgrounds have been extra more likely to be in the identical job that they held at college or college. Nonetheless, there’s, as but, no indication that this has affected different measures of their job high quality.

5. It could be that some destructive results of the COVID-19 pandemic are but to materialise. Gaps between the COVID-19 cohorts and earlier cohorts might emerge because the labour market turns into much less tight, because the lack of expertise and coaching they skilled places them at a drawback. Working from house might have affected the standard of on-the-job coaching and studying, results which might be unlikely to be captured by short-term measures of job high quality.6. Maybe extra regarding are the prospects for the following two cohorts of graduates. They’ll have suffered an extremely unlucky double whammy, with disruption throughout a key phrase of their schooling as a result of pandemic, adopted by an economic system in recession upon entry into the roles market. Regardless of these challenges, strained public funds imply that authorities assist is more likely to be sparse.