Dame Vivian Hunt

The managing partner for McKinsey & Co’s UK and Ireland offices warns of the pandemic’s seismic economic shock and the blow it will deal to jobs, and stresses the need to retrain the workforce for a digital future.

The World Today
4 minute READ

Alan Philps

Former Editor, The World Today, Communications and Publishing

A lot of people would like the world to ‘go back to normal’. How do you see the world of work changing as a result of the coronavirus?

COVID-19 is the most serious health crisis the world has experienced in a century, and it is one of the biggest shocks to employment. McKinsey’s latest analysis finds that nearly a quarter of the workforce in Britain – or 8 million people – are vulnerable to reduced income, furloughs or layoffs and nearly a third – or 57 million jobs – are at risk in the United States. The impact of this pandemic is shared across every country and economy in the world.

COVID-19 is accelerating the profound structural shifts in the workforce already underway. We have leapt five years in consumer and digital adoption in eight weeks. Our research tells us that British companies need to respond to these changes by moving up to a third of their workforce into new roles over the next decade.

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