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.

View and download the full policy briefing here.  

Key facts:

  • 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.

View and download the full policy briefing here.