Financial situation and security during COVID-19

Eurofound’s e-survey, Living, working and COVID-19, provides a snapshot of the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives, with the aim of helping policymakers to bring about an equal recovery from the crisis. Two rounds of the e-survey have been carried out to date, allowing for comparison between the first round launched on 9 April, when most Member States were in lockdown, and the second round in July, when society and economies were slowly re-opening. The data cover a range of topics including living standards and ability to make ends meet, need to economise, household arrears, financial situation and deprivation, and the level of support received in difficult circumstances. Compare the data for each round and explore by country, gender and age.

Key findings

  • People across Europe have experienced an upturn in their situation overall post-lockdown, with increases in working hours and lower levels of job insecurity reported in July compared to April. However, large inequalities between specific groups across the EU have emerged.
  • Despite measures to support those who lost their job being introduced rapidly in many countries, well over half of unemployed respondents did not receive any official financial support since the outbreak of COVID-19, forcing many to rely heavily on informal support. The numbers of those reporting difficulties in making ends meet was highest among unemployed respondents and, in July, this was double that of working households.  
  • Financial support measures introduced during the pandemic have proved effective, reducing financial hardship for the one in five respondents who received some form of support. The self-employed have benefited most from both income support and business measures and are significantly more positive about their financial situation in July than they were in April.
  • The survey results reveal how the situation of the unemployed deteriorated even more during the pandemic. Their financial outlook remains particularly bleak, pointing to a strong need for adequate social protection measures as growing numbers of those seeking work report having problems paying their bills.

Background and data collection

Suggested citation

Eurofound (2020), Living, working and COVID-19 dataset, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19data

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In light of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020, it should be noted that much data published on the Eurofound website continues to include the 28 EU Member States, as the UK was included in earlier research. This will be progressively amended to reflect the current composition of the 27 EU Member States.

COVID-19 data