The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have adverse and non-uniform impacts on future employment prospects for different job positions in the EU. We investigate two possible determinants of the variation of future employment loss due to the pandemic: the potential of a job to be carried out ‘from home’ and the risk of being substituted by automation.
Using unique data provided by a dedicated COVID-19 impact scenario carried out for the latest Cedefop skills forecast, we find that less remote working potential and more automation risk are related to larger expected losses in employment due to COVID-19 for different countries and occupations, but not industries. These links are stronger in the short-term future for different countries, but for occupations they seem to strengthen in the years after 2022, reflecting the removal of protective measures taken by EU governments as the world recovers from the pandemic. Relating expected employment loss to the intensity of performing different tasks at work, we find that such loss is expected to be less for countries and occupations in which social, intellectual and information and communication technology (ICT) skills are important for a larger proportion of jobs.