Coronavirus Latest News

Britain’s epidemic of long-term sickness can only lead to poor outcomes all round

Chronic ill health was rising before Covid; now a report warns it explains almost 88% of the increase in economic inactivity

You know what turned out to be rubbish? Mid-pandemic predictions of Covid-19’s legacy. Claps aside, the promised new dawn of better conditions for essential workers never arrived. Meanwhile, the extension of furlough meant the feared wave of unemployment never arrived. Instead, one legacy that no one saw coming has: a major rise in economic inactivity (those neither in nor looking for a job) of around half-a-million people.

Now, we shouldn’t forget the UK’s very respectable levels of labour market activity internationally, but understanding the drivers of this recent deterioration is important because its cause will tell us how worried to be about it. We know it’s concentrated among older workers and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has argued that more retirements are the single biggest driver. In so far as this reflects older workers deciding they prefer not to work post-pandemic that’s something policymakers might be relaxed about.

Continue reading…

Read the original article at The Guardian

Related Articles

Back to top button