The Impact of Covid-19 on Ethnic Disparities in the British Labour Market

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Economics


The coronavirus has severely affected the livelihoods of people around the globe and has raised concerns about health risks and care systems, as well as social and economic affairs worldwide. The pandemic had significant disruptive effects on the labour market but its impact in terms of risks and outcomes was by no means the same across different groups of the population.

The aim of the research is to study the effects of the coronavirus on ethnic inequality in the British labour market and examine the impact of policies adopted by the government during the pandemic on ethnic disparities in labour outcomes. Particularly, the research will investigate the contrast in employment and unemployment, economic inactivity and wages across workers from different ethnic backgrounds by addressing the following questions. Firstly what is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market outcomes of workers by ethnicity? Secondly, how have government policies during the pandemic affected the labour market outcomes of workers from different ethnicities? Thirdly, how was the effect of a "second wave" of infections different to the "first wave" in terms of labour market experience? Finally, how can policy be designed to mitigate ethnic inequality in the labour market during the economic recovery from the pandemic and thereafter?

The research explores data from the ONS, the Labour Force Survey, the Understanding Society COVID-19 Study, and other data sources to analyse the impact of the pandemic on the labour market outcomes of workers from ethnic minorities and White British. First, the research uses individual data to examine the effect of the pandemic on the labour outcomes of workers from each of the two groups. Second, the research develops a DSGE model with search frictions to simulate the impact of policy responses on the British labour market by ethnic group.

The project will contribute to placing the socioeconomic impact of the coronavirus under the lens and help to better understand the roots of ethnic disparities in labour market outcomes of workers by consequences of the pandemic. It will also highlight ways in which public policy can be designed to provide equal opportunities for all individuals in society.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000630/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2570674 Studentship ES/P000630/1 04/10/2021 03/10/2024 Nadim Hamdan