How Will the Third Covid Wave Affect Europe’s Agency Work Sector?

The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis significantly impacted the global agency work market.

In 2019, global agency work sector revenue, which includes agency work revenue generated via an MSP, reached €391 billion, according to estimates from SIA and the World Employment Confederation

Due to the effects of the pandemic, the global agency work sector contracted by as much as 18% in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.  Europe was no exception.

Europe generates 43% of global revenue for the agency work segment — €167.9 billion. In fact, nine of the largest 15 agency work markets are located in Europe. Those markets contribute 38% to the sector’s global revenues.

However, a recent report from WEC Europe found that the European agency work sector was down 36% in the second quarter of 2020 on an annual basis, which is a decline 10% higher than during the Great Recession in 2009.

Despite the tumble, looking at the second half of 2020, the agency sector began a gradual path towards recovery.

As a second wave hit Europe at the end of 2020, government restrictions and protocols, which influence the agency work sector, had already evolved since early 2020 when the pandemic hit. This led to a less severe impact than the first wave.

However, Q4 2020 the European agency work market was still 5% below Q4 2019.

With Europe currently in the midst of a third wave, I spoke with Robin Lechtenfeld, Labour Market Intelligence Officer at the WEC, about the potential impact this Covid-19 spike could have on the agency work sector this year.

Lechtenfeld looks back at different waves last year to estimate the impact of the third wave this year.

“Companies became more able to handle more uncertainty, they’re more informed and they face less severe government restrictions, which leads to increased options for businesses to operate and for workers to take up work,” he says.

Lechtenfeld also looks at a few other important key factors to assess any potential impacts of the third wave on the European agency work market.

To listen to the full interview click below.

Listen to the full interview below.

Danny Romero

Danny Romero
Danny Romero is a reporter at Staffing Industry Analysts.

Danny Romero

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