Warnings of more job losses to come as Covid pandemic continues to grip Sheffield
There will be more job losses and companies going bust before the worst of the pandemic is over, warns a stark report.
Sheffield workers were already struggling with pay freezes and insecure jobs before Covid-19 hit but the pandemic has increased inequalities.
The arts and entertainment, hospitality, construction work and retail sectors have been particularly hit hard.
A total of 53,500 employees in Sheffield have been placed on furlough and the three most deprived constituencies of Sheffield South East; Heeley; and Brightside and Hillsborough, have the most furloughed workers.
Eleanor Rutter, consultant in public health, says in a report to Sheffield councillors: “Before the pandemic, despite many years of strong overall economic growth, there were stagnant earnings for many, cuts to the welfare system and a rise in solo self employment and gig economy with part time, fixed term and often insecure jobs.
“There were existing inequalities in employment related to age, ethnicity, gender, income and geography – the pandemic has exposed these inequalities and further impacted these groups.
“Some groups have been disproportionately affected. Young people are more likely to work in affected sectors and men are more likely to work in roles which are not amenable to working from home.
“Women are more likely to work in health and social care roles and mothers are more likely to have quit their job, lost their job or been furloughed
“Those in low income roles were more likely to have had reduction in work hours, lost their job or been furloughed. And members of the BAME community are more likely to be in key worker roles.”
Ms Rutter said the full effect of the pandemic was unlikely to be clear for some time.
She added: “More jobs will be lost when furlough ends. Many businesses will be facing difficulties with cash flow and debt as Government support tapers off, meaning there will likely be insolvency with further job losses.
“The UK has entered a recession with sectors recovering at different rates. Sheffield needs a renewed economic strategy but this will not be an easy or simple process and will require time.”
In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.