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

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin in der Infrastruktureinrichtung Sozio-oekonomisches Panel

Sabine Zinn

Direktorium SOEP und Bereichsleitung Surveymethodik und -management in der Infrastruktureinrichtung Sozio-oekonomisches Panel

Johannes Seebauer

Doktorand in der Infrastruktureinrichtung Sozio-oekonomisches Panel

Stefan Liebig

Direktorium in der Infrastruktureinrichtung Sozio-oekonomisches Panel

Hannes Kröger

Leiter der Nachwuchsgruppe SocPsych-MH in der Infrastruktureinrichtung Sozio-oekonomisches Panel

Daniel Graeber

Doktorand in der Infrastruktureinrichtung Sozio-oekonomisches Panel

Carsten Schröder

Vize-Direktor SOEP und Bereichsleitung Angewandte Panelanalysen in der Infrastruktureinrichtung Sozio-oekonomisches Panel

Jan Goebel

Direktorium SOEP und Bereichsleitung Data-Operation und Forschungsdatenzentrum in der Infrastruktureinrichtung Sozio-oekonomisches Panel

Markus M. Grabka

Direktorium SOEP und kommissarische Bereichsleitung Wissenstransfer in der Infrastruktureinrichtung Sozio-oekonomisches Panel

Martin Kroh

Senior Research Fellow in der Infrastruktureinrichtung Sozio-oekonomisches Panel

Jürgen Schupp

Wissenschaftler in der Infrastruktureinrichtung Sozio-oekonomisches Panel



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