COVID-19 Ramifications Within Europe

While the number COVID-19 positive cases has begun to increase late 2020, the earlier implications of the pandemic on countries are being considered as countries take action to lessen the spread of the virus and maintain their economies.

A previous deep dive into the coronavirus and its ramifications on the United States’ economy and unemployment revealed a correlation between the cases of COVID-19 and an increase in American interest in work via gig platforms. With the rate of unemployed reaching an all-time high since the Great Depression, Americans began to seek alternative job opportunities.

The measures taken by worldwide governments have varied as have the implications of the pandemic on the workforce. Particularly within Europe, different trends and differing correlations have been observed as a result of varying governmental mandates and lockdowns.

The continental European countries further investigated:

– Germany
– Italy
– United Kingdom
– France
– and Spain

The impact of the pandemic in these countries, their unemployment and interest in the gig economy potentially differed due to the diverging tactics taken by the respective governments.

Below shows commonalities as well as discrepancies of the measures taken by nations to slow the spread in the first wave of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. 

While countries have taken precautionary steps to mitigate economic fallout and a healthcare crisis, the pandemic has had ramifications on all economies worldwide. Some noteworthy outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic are:

– In Germany, the EU’s largest economy, 3.7 million people in the workforce continue to remain on furlough support programs and are receiving 70% or more of their salary for less or no work work.

– In France, the national economy shrunk 5.8% in the first quarter of 2020 and in the second quarter contracted by another 13.8%.

– 730,000 jobs were estimated to have been lost in the United Kingdom since March while Spain has reported over a million jobs lost since the beginning of the year.

– The GDP in Italy has been rocked with tourism down 99%, retail sales down 29%, car sales shrunk by 98% and industrial and construction production contracting by 47% and 68% respectively from last year.

Unlike as seen in many other countries such as the United States, the unemployment rate has remained relatively steady with modest escalations seen throughout the pandemic in these five nations.

Although the unemployment rates seem to be creeping up more gradually then seen in other countries worldwide, these five countries are not completely unscathed. The graph below shows the unemployment rates from January to August of 2020.  

Increased Unemployment Rates

As apparent, the coronavirus outbreak has led to economies shrinking and more have found themselves without work.

In analyzing internal Appjobs data and external data sources, no correlation has been found between the unemployment rates influencing residents of these nations to actively seek out gig work via Appjobs at a higher rate, with the exception of Spain. Within Spain, there was a strong correlation between gig applications and the unemployment rates seen during the pandemic. 

Within these five nations, the work that attracted those seeking employment through gig platforms were typically searching within the categories of online surveys, delivery and freelance. While household gigs, such as pet sitting or babysitting, and driving gigs were less popular amongst those seeking gig work employment.

However, this trend cannot be attributed solely to the pandemic and lockdowns as Appjobs focused on providing social distancing safe jobs to the public at a higher frequency than usual during the pandemic.