Covid bulletin #36

Dec 3, 2020 | Sector & policy

This is the thirty-sixth of a series of bulletins produced by ISE to update members on key data and policy on Covid-19. This covers the period 26/11/2020-02/12/2020.

You can access all of the Covid-19 bulletins on ISE insights.

Latest Covid-19 data

Data taken from Wikipedia and from the government’s Covid-19 dashboard.

The UK has now had over 1.6 million identified Covid-19 cases and 69,752 deaths (with Covid on the death certificate). The R rate is estimated to be between 0.9 and 1 with the daily infection rate falling by -2%-0%. It is looking like the second lockdown has worked and that the number of new cases has peaked. However, the number of deaths is a lagging indicator and is continuing to trend upwards.


Covid news




The economy

  • Controversy has erupted about the media’s reporting of economic issues. Economists argue that it is inappropriate and there is a need for a greater level of economic literacy amongst journalists.
  • The economic impact of Covid-19 has varied substantially by geography.
  • Commentary on Rishi Sunak’s spending review continues with Labour’s Professor Prem Sikka describing it as ‘austerity light’.


The labour market


The student labour market


Student recruitment and development


Employer insights

Insights gathered from ISE employer ‘town halls’ and other interactions over the last week.

  • It has been a challenging year for many employers, but the experience has been quite varied. While some firms are collapsing, others have thrived. In general, there is optimism that things are looking up and that recruitment numbers will be up from what was predicted in September.
  • Most employers are reporting a huge increase in applications. A lot of these are ‘spray and pray’ applications and not necessarily of very high quality. Some students are chasing applications very hard and, in some cases, becoming aggressive. Firms are often taking the decision to terminate these applications.
  • The process of graduate recruitment is moving faster than usual, in part because of the high volumes of applicants.
  • Organisations are still unsure that they will be able to run face-to-face internships this year. Most are focusing on virtual or blended internships.
  • There are ongoing concerns from employers about university virtual careers fairs. Many of them are not delivering the level of engagement needed.
  • There are also some concerns that it has become more difficult to reach school and college leavers as schools are more difficult to get into.
  • Some firms expect that the shift to online assessment centres and inductions will become permanent.
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