UK Policy Briefings
Covid-19 and Economic Challenges for Young Women
Date Posted: Tuesday 24th November 2020
A policy briefing from the Young Women’s Trust and Women’s Budget Group.
- Prior to the coronavirus outbreak and ensuing labour market shock, young women were already facing disadvantage in employment in a gender earnings gap (32.8 per cent for 18-21 age group and 19 per cent for 22-29 age group), discrimination and sexual harassment.
- The pandemic economic impact has hit young women’s employment the hardest, as a third of all young women were employed in shutdown sectors like hospitality, leisure and tourism.
- In May 2020, 84 per cent of young women surveyed were concerned about their future finances, 64 per cent expected to lose money because of the crisis, and a quarter said they expected to lose more than £100 a week.
- In October 2020, an estimated 1.5 million young women had lost income since the coronavirus pandemic began and 750,000 had been made to come to work despite concerns about their safety.
- 69% of young women claiming Universal Credit since March 2020 reported they had done so for the first time.
- Childcare responsibilities are a big barrier for young women to flourish in the labour market and for their financial autonomy. The coronavirus pandemic is impacting a financially fragile sector, with a quarter of nurseries reporting concerns over closing in the next few months.
- Mental health has significantly deteriorated across the population since the pandemic started, with women, young people, disabled people and those facing financial difficulties the hardest hit.