Covid bulletin #47: The budget looks to the future
This is the 47th of a series of bulletins produced by ISE to update members on key data and policy related to Covid-19. This bulletin covers the period 25th February – 3rd March 2021.
You can access all of the Covid-19 bulletins on ISE insights.
Latest Covid-19 data
The UK has now had over 4.1 million identified Covid-19 cases and 140,000 deaths (with Covid on the death certificate). The R rate is estimated to be between 0.6 and 0.9 with the daily infection rate shrinking by between 2% and 6%.
The number of cases and the number of death have been falling for seven weeks. The number of new cases is now well below the October average although it is still considerably higher than it was at the end of the summer. The number of deaths has also been dropping for five weeks and is now below the level that it was at in November.
Data from the government’s Covid-19 dashboard.
- The evidence suggests that Covid-19 vaccines are very effective in reducing deaths and hospitalisations.
- An over-reliance on modelling has been responsible for a range of policy missteps argues Devi Sridhar in the British Medical Journal.
- Despite positive progress on the data and the vaccine rollout the government remains cautious about opening up the economy too quickly. Aditya Goenka and his colleagues argue that we should be careful not to be hurried into this by businesses who want to restart trading.
- The government has clarified how qualifications will be awarded in 2021. But will this cause problems for universities asks David Kernohan?
- Universities are hoping that some students will be back in March, with most students back on campus after Easter. But research from the Sutton Trust suggests that the student experience has seriously suffered during the pandemic.
- The latest issue of AGCAS’ magazine focuses on racial equality in graduate careers services.
- This week was National Careers Week. Tristram Hooley explores why career guidance matters to student employers.
- A summary of the 2021 budget.
- The Office for National Statistics have released new data on the economy suggesting that around 20% of the workforce are currently on furlough. The Guardian summarises the economic outlook in five charts.
- The Chancellor has extended the furlough arrangements until September. But, there are risks in extending furlough argues Alan Shipman.
The labour market
- Young people from ethnic minorities typically bear the brunt of recessions. This pattern seems to be repeating itself in the Covid recession. Polly Toynbee argues that we should be carefully not to blame unemployment on the unemployed.
- New research on the graduate labour market this week explore the destinations of graduates with disabilities. Meanwhile Charlie Ball offers his latest graduate labour market update.
Changing patterns of work
- The Prime Minister has suggested that people continue home working until 21st June, but dismissed the idea that this will be a permanent change. Goldman Sachs’ boss wants workers back at their desks as soon as possible. On the other hand, Lloyds and HSBC are shedding office space.
- The pandemic has seen a major shift in work-life balance for many people.
Student recruitment and development
- The Chancellor has increased the incentive for employers to hire apprentices. On the other hand the Chancellor opted not to extend the Kickstart scheme despite campaigners arguing that this needed to happen.
- Dan Hawes offers advice on approaches that student recruiters are taking to attract the best graduates.
- The ISE offers social mobility interventions that work.
- Many students and graduates are changing their career plans post-Covid.