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Parental job loss and job insecurity during the Covid-19 pandemic and children’s outcomes

The aim of this research is to study how job loss and felt job insecurity due to the Covid19 pandemic are impacting factors that directly affect the cognitive and non-cognitive achievement of children: parental mental and physical health, income, time use, and the home-schooling environment (Ruiz-Valenzuela 2020a,b). Beyond these immediate impacts, we will study how parental job loss and insecurity affects children’s outcomes, such as test scores and educational choices, attitudes towards school and life, and risky behaviours. We will do so by analysing representative UK survey data collected before, during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 crisis has had an immediate impact on education through school closures and exam cancellations. Evidence shows that children in disadvantaged households are likely to suffer most (Eyles et al, 2020; Burgess and Sievertsen, 2020), both because they often lack the resources to participate in online learning and because their parents tend to feel less able to support them (Andrew et al, 2020; Cullinane and Montacute, 2020). But evidence also shows that a child’s education suffers when a parent loses their job or fears losing it. The Covid-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented job losses, with disadvantaged households hardest hit, both in terms of actual job losses and perceived job insecurity. Parental job loss and insecurity are therefore likely to exacerbate already existing inequalities, due to their potential negative effects on financial resources and parental mental health. This, in turn, can affect children’s attitudes, wellbeing, and ultimately, school performance and educational choices.

Lead investigator:

Jenifer Ruiz-Valenzuela



Primary topic:

Schools, universities & training

Secondary topic:

Inequality & poverty

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Status of data collection

In Progress

Type of data being collected:

Online survey

Unit of real-time data collection


Start date




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