Survey: Covid-19 crisis affected a third of Czech employees, drove wages down

Photo: Jaroslav Mach

The coronavirus crisis has negatively impacted more than a third of employees in the Czech Republic according to surveys by Grafton Recruitment in February and June. About four percent of people between the ages of 18 and 65 lost their jobs during the lockdown while a majority of respondents noted some decline in income.

Manual workers and those in the accommodation and catering services were among the hardest hit by the crisis, Grafton Recruitment said in a press release on Monday, noting about 37 percent of employees polled said their working conditions had changed.

Photo: skeeze, Pixabay / CC0

However, thanks to support from the Czech state, in the form of loans for businesses or contributions to maintain jobs, there were no major redundancies in the first phase of the crisis, according to Grafton Recruitment. “Much more often, companies had to reduce wages and benefits, as well as reduce working hours. In total, such changes affected 31 percent of Czech employees,” the agency said.

According to Czech Labour Office data, the percentage of unemployed in the country stagnated at 3 percent in March, rising gradually over the following months to 3.7 percent in June.

Manual workers and hotel or restaurant employees tried hardest to find work in a new field, Grafton Recruitment said. Most sought jobs in companies operating e-shops, logistics or business services. According to ČTK, -shops experienced a significant boost in sales during the coronavirus crisis when most brick-and-mortar shops were closed.

Overall, however, according to the agency, the number of people who would have liked to change jobs decreased during the crisis. “Concerns about dismissals were reflected in the declining interest of Czechs to change jobs and growing loyalty to their current employer,” said Grafton Recruitment marketing manager Jitka Součková, as cited by iDNES.cz.

The coronavirus crisis also changed preferences among job seekers. Previously, wage levels, distance from work and type of employment contract were among the most important preconditions cited. Now, however, people rank salary as second in importance to long-term job security.