The pandemic has widened divides in the labour market
新冠疫情加剧了劳动力市场的分化

【双语】Zoom族、zero人和Z世代 Zoomers, zeros and Gen Z-书迷号 shumihao.comCOUNTRIES ARE beginning to emerge from economic lockdown. As they do, the statistics show how different segments of the population have been affected by the pandemic. And the evidence is clear that the virus has widened existing divides between professionals, low-paid workers and the young.

各国正开始重启经济。与此同时,相关统计显示,不同群体受疫情影响的程度各有不同。结果清楚表明,新冠病毒扩大了专业人士、低收入劳动者与年轻人之间已有的差距。

Start with the most fortunate. Many professionals can easily work at home, replacing one-to-one meetings with phone calls and group meetings with Zoom gatherings or Google hangouts. These “Zoomers” are mostly working on full pay and are currently being spared the daily commute. For them, the lockdown may be an inconvenience (particularly if they have children) but it is not a threat to their standards of living.

先说最幸运的那群人。很多专业人士可以轻松地在家办公,用电话代替一对一面谈,用Zoom视频会议或谷歌环聊代替线下团队会议。这些“Zoom族”大多领着全薪,暂时还免去了每天的通勤之苦。对他们来说,禁足令可能会带来不便(尤其是有孩子的人),但不会影响自己的生活水平。

For many others, however, the pandemic is a serious threat. Some are key workers, who have to attend their jobs and are at more risk from the virus. Others cannot work from home and have either lost their jobs or seen their incomes cut (despite help from government schemes). Many in this group were already in a weaker position than the Zoomers, because they were in jobs with lower wages or less security.

然而对其他很多人来说,疫情对他们的生活造成了严重威胁。其中一些是关键岗位人员,必须外出工作,因此感染病毒的风险更高。另一些人没法在家办公,要么失业,要么被减薪(即便有政府援助计划的帮助)。这个群体中的很多人在疫情之前就已经比Zoom族弱势,因为他们薪水较低,工作更不稳定。

Some people in this less fortunate group can be dubbed the “zeros”. In Britain, almost three-quarters of those on zero-hours contracts are key workers or work in shut-down sectors, says the Resolution Foundation, a think-tank.

在这个更不走运的群体中,一些人可以被称为“zero人”。据智库Resolution Foundation称,英国签订“零工时契约”(zero-hours contracts)的人群有近四分之三是关键岗位人员,或在因疫情关停的行业里工作。

A further clue to the toll on the low-paid came from the latest American non-farm payroll figures. Average hourly earnings rose by 4.7% in April, the biggest monthly gain on record. That sounds like good news but isn’t. It is the result of low-wage workers losing jobs in sectors like hospitality. The same trend can be seen in Britain, where the average wage of those in shut-down sectors is less than half of those working at home, according to the Resolution Foundation.

最新的美国非农就业数据也反映出低收入者遭受重创。4月,平均时薪上涨了4.7%,创有记录以来的最大月度涨幅。这听上去像是好消息,实则不然。这是接待等行业的低收入劳动者失业所致。英国也呈现了同样的趋势,据Resolution Foundation称,那些停工行业的员工平均工资不到远程办公者的一半。

The mortality rates make even grimmer news. The low-paid (and ethnic minorities) have suffered most. Figures from Britain’s Office for National Statistics showed that death rates of security guards, care workers and bus drivers were much higher than average, while those in “professional occupations” had death rates well below the mean.

死亡率方面的消息更是令人沮丧。低收入者(和少数族裔)是最大的受害者。英国国家统计局的数据显示,保安、护工和公交车司机的死亡率远高于平均水平,而“专业性职业”人员的死亡率远低于平均值。

Another great divide is between those already established in the workforce and Generation Z—those born in the late 1990s and early 2000s who are now coming of age. They are entering a job market extremely hostile to their prospects. Around 30% of British employees aged under 25 worked in one of the shut-down sectors, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, another think-tank, compared with 13% of those aged over 25.

另一个巨大分化出现在已在职场立足的人和“Z世代”之间。出生于上世纪90年代末到本世纪初的“Z世代”刚成年不久,正在进入一个对其前途极为不利的就业市场。据另一家智库英国财政研究所(Institute for Fiscal Studies)称,在英国,25岁以下雇员约有30%就职于陷入停工的行业,而25岁以上雇员的这一比例为13%。

Those in university education are also badly affected. For a start, it is harder to get work experience. In America 22% of employers have cancelled internship offers, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. In the first week of May just under 2,500 internships were posted on Monster.com, a recruitment website, compared with over 18,000 in the same week last year. Many of the remaining internships were in roles which could be done remotely. In Britain firms have cut entry-level jobs by 23%, says the Institute of Student Employers, a recruiters’ association.

受到严重影响的还有大学生。首先,他们更难获得工作经验。根据全美大学和雇主协会(National Association of Colleges and Employers)的数据,美国22%的雇主已经取消了实习岗位。5月的第一周,招聘网站Monster.com上发布的实习岗位不到2500个,而去年同期有1.8万多个。被保留的实习岗位的工作很多都可以远程完成。招聘者组织英国学生雇主协会(Institute of Student Employers)表示,在英国,公司已经削减了23%的初级岗位。

The short-term shock of the pandemic will leave long-term scars. The Resolution Foundation estimates that the pandemic means those emerging from education this year will be less likely to have jobs in three years’ time. The likelihood of being in employment would fall by 13% for graduates and 37% for those with the fewest qualifications.

疫情的冲击虽然短暂,留下的创伤却会持续很久。Resolution Foundation估计,受疫情影响,今年的应届毕业生在三年内找到工作的可能性更小。毕业生的就业率将下降13%,而最低学历群体的就业率将下降37%。

The effect could last into the 2030s. A study of the effect of recessions on younger workers by Bart Cockx of Ghent University in Belgium found that it takes about ten years for cohorts that enter the labour market during a downturn to catch up with cohorts that did not.

这种影响可能会持续到本世纪30年代。比利时根特大学(Ghent University)的巴特·考克斯(Bart Cockx)研究了经济衰退对年轻劳动者的影响,发现在衰退期进入劳动力市场的人大约需要十年时间才能赶上在非衰退期进入的人。

At least young people are far less likely to suffer severe symptoms from the virus than older generations. But the economic hit comes at a time when many already worry about the burden of student debt and the lack of well-paying jobs: a survey last year by Deloitte, a consultancy, found that a third of Gen Z-ers who planned to move jobs felt there were not enough opportunities to advance in their careers.

好在“后浪”们成为新冠重症患者的可能性要比“前浪”小得多。但是,此次经济冲击来袭之时,很多年轻人已经在为沉重的助学贷款和缺乏待遇好的工作发愁:咨询公司德勤去年的调查发现,打算跳槽的Z世代中有三分之一感觉没有足够多的职业发展机会。

That the low-paid and the young are the hardest hit economically by the pandemic is a dark echo of the King James Bible: “But whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.” The social and political consequences may be huge.

低收入人群和年轻人在经济上受疫情打击最重,这不幸地应了钦定版《圣经》中的那句话:“但凡没有的,连他所有的,也要夺去。”疫情的社会和政治后果可能是巨大的。