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COVID-19 and the labour market outcomes of disabled people in the UK

Jones, Melanie ORCID: 2022. COVID-19 and the labour market outcomes of disabled people in the UK. Social Science & Medicine 292 , 114637. 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114637

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The economic impact of COVID-19 has exacerbated inequalities in society, but disability has been neglected. This paper contributes to this knowledge gap by providing a comprehensive analysis of the differential labour market impact of COVID-19 by disability in the UK. Using data from the Labour Force Survey before and during the pandemic it estimates disability gaps in pre-pandemic risk factors, as well as changes in labour market inequality nearly one year on. Disabled workers are found to face higher COVID-19-related economic and health risks, including being more likely to work in ‘shutdown’ industries, and in occupations with greater proximity to others and exposure to disease. However, established measures of inequality, including the disability employment and pay gap suggest limited impact of COVID-19 in 2020. Nevertheless, the increase in the probability of being temporarily away from work, even among otherwise comparable workers, is 40% higher for disabled workers and consistent with disproportionate use of the government's job retention scheme. While the reasons for this are likely to be complex, there is a risk that it will contribute to future disability-related labour market inequality.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0277-9536
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 December 2021
Date of Acceptance: 3 December 2021
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 08:55

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