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Eurostat: COVID-19 crisis led to less work, reduced incomes and higher risk of poverty in 2020


“In 2020, the year of the COVID-19 outbreak, the median employment income of the working age population (18-64 years) in the EU decreased by 7% compared with 2019. However, the median disposable household income as well as the at-risk-of-poverty rate remained stable”, with varying trends across Member States. This is according to a Eurostat study released today. “The losses in employment income were largely due to the unprecedented rise in the number of workers absent from work” (layoffs, subsidy, temporary suspension of employment) or working at reduced hours, which means reduced incomes. “However, the usual government transfers and taxes as well as temporary policies helped to offset the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on disposable household income”. These temporary regimes have played an important role in stabilizing household wages and income, particularly for those with lower incomes. Compared with 2019, among the Member States with statistically significant data (orange and blue in the map), increases in at-risk-of-poverty rate of the working age population were observed in Portugal, Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Austria and Sweden. In around half of the Member States, the at-risk-of-poverty rate remained stable in 2020, while it decreased in Estonia.

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