British Men See Slower Career Starts Than Women in Covid Slump

Young people are increasingly beginning their careers in low-paid jobs but men now take longer to move onto higher-paid work, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said.

For those born in the mid-to-late 1980s, both sexes were twice as likely to begin their working lives in bars, restaurants, or call centers, compared to people born in the 1970s. But women are able to move more quickly into better-paid jobs.

Despite higher education levels, the highly skilled jobs of the U.K.’s service-based economy had been out of reach for young people even before the arrival of the coronavirus lockdown. They have been disproportionately hit by closures and the resulting job losses in the hospitality sector.

“The pandemic threatens to exacerbate some of the concerning trends,” said IFS deputy director Robert Joyce. “Job progression is likely to be much harder in an uncertain economic environment with reduced hiring.”

Brexit is also contributing to the economic uncertainty for employers. According to a separate report from the Confederation of British Industry, three quarters of businesses are concerned about a further shock if Britain ends the transition period out of the European Union without a new trading arrangement at the end of the year.

One in five said their level of preparedness has gone backward since January, although 15% said it had improved, the survey of 752 firms found.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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