COVID-19: Which Sectors Have Been Hit Hardest?

April 27, 2020 / News & General

Coronavirus has affected all businesses in the UK, but the fallout from the pandemic has hit certain sectors harder than others.

The government’s independent economics watchdog has analysed Britain’s economy and has found that education, construction and hospitality have been those most negatively affected by the COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown measures that have been put in place.


Education has seen a 90% reduction in output as staff across universities have been dismissed and international students from China and other countries are cancelling enrolments. The lobby group Universities UK has predicted there could be a shortfall of up to £6.9bn in fee income due to non-UK and non-EU students staying away this year. Many members of staff in the education sector are in insecure employment, so are especially vulnerable.


Due to various restaurants, bars and cafes closing to adhere to strict social distancing and lockdown measures, the hospitality industry has seen an 85% drop in output. Additionally because people are not available to travel, hotels have seen a severe reduction in bookings.

Economists warn the sector will find it harder to recover lost output next year, and with more than three million people working in the sector (many on low wages) they’re most at risk if employers decide to cut jobs rather than keep staff on using the government’s furlough scheme


As building sites across Britain shut down operations to protect the health of workers, research has shown that March had the steepest decline in activity since the recession in 2008 and overall output in the construction sector dropped by 70%. Many contracts and projects have been put on hold indefinitely until the government decides to ease lockdown measures.

Companies within the construction sector are a lot more vulnerable to cash flow problems and insolvency when compared to other sectors.

Expert help

Clarke Bell have more than 28 years’ experience helping companies from all sectors during financially uncertain times. 

So, whatever sector your company is in, we can help you deal with any cash flow problems or business debts.

For your free and confidential advice, contact us on 0161 907 4044 or