COVID-19 Is Not Affecting All Working People Equally

Abstract

The corona pandemic and the political measures undertaken to contain it are changing the working conditions of many people in Germany. Based on data from the first tranche of a supplementary survey (SOEP-Cov) to the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), this study analyzes the effects of the corona crisis on Germany’s working population in 2019. In this paper, we investigate how severely people have been affected by the pandemic in three dimensions: individual level of education, gross individual earned income in 2019, and equivalent net household income in 2019. The key findings are that just under 20 percent of the working population are working reduced hours (on “short-time work”), and a good third are working partially or completely from home. Reported working hours have fallen by an average of four hours per week compared to the previous year. The extent to which working people have been affected by the corona crisis differs across the three dimensions. It is primarily those with higher incomes and a higher level of education who are using the opportunity to work from home, whereas those with a lower level of education are more likely to be on short-time work. Although most employees are not concerned about their own financial situation, they are concerned about the overall development of the German economy as of spring 2020.

Theresa Entringer

Research Associate in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Sabine Zinn

Direktorium SOEP und Bereichsleitung Surveymethodik und -management in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Stefan Liebig

Board of Directors in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Hannes Kröger

Leiter der Nachwuchsgruppe SocPsych-MH in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Daniel Graeber

Ph.D. Student in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Carsten Schröder

Vize-Direktor SOEP und Bereichsleitung Angewandte Panelanalysen in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Markus M. Grabka

Direktorium SOEP und kommissarische Bereichsleitung Wissenstransfer in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Martin Kroh

Senior Research Fellow in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Jürgen Schupp

Wissenschaftler in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department



JEL-Classification: D19;D39;I39
Keywords: SOEP-CoV, corona, labor market, concerns