Coronavirus

Young people hit the hardest by COVID-19 economic impact

A BBC investigation has found that young, poor people have been hit the hardest by the economic impact of COVID-19.

BBC Panorama said that those aged between 16 and 25 were more than twice as likely to have lost their jobs when compared to their older counterparts.

For those still in employment, six in 10 young people from that age group have had their earnings reduced.

A survey by the London School of Economics (LSE) has also shown there were huge disparities when it came to access to education.

During lockdown it is thought around 2.5 million children had no schooling or tutoring at all, but nearly three quarters of private school pupils had full days of teaching (74%) – almost twice the proportion of state school pupils (38%).

Roberta, 16, had been working towards her GCSEs when lockdown started, which she said has done her a lot of harm.

Speaking to the BBC, she said: “That break of six months did so much damage. Usually I’d be able to be sitting for hours and be able to revise and really absorb it in my mind. Now I get kind of restless after one or two hours.”

Young people’s mental health has also been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

The Samaritans and the University of Glasgow carried out research into the matter and found those aged between 18 and 25 were more likely to be depressed and think about suicide, than older people.

Kiylee White-Lee, assistant principal at Harris Westminster sixth form told Panorama: “We’ve seen a massive increase in students with anxiety and not just anxiety about the future, but having things like sensory overload of being back in a situation where you’re surrounded by people.

“We’ve seen a big increase in students with eating disorders this year. And increase in depression as well. So, we’ve had to, where possible, direct them to the nursing and the counselling, but within the first two weeks, those two things were completely saturated, pretty much.”

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