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COVID-19 crisis affected 1/3 of Czech employees, drove wages down

The coronavirus crisis has negatively impacted more than a third of employees in the Czech Republic, Czech Radio reports, citing surveys by Grafton Recruitment in February and June. 

Graphic by kozhedub_nc /

About 4% of people between the ages of 18 and 65 lost their jobs during the lockdown while a majority of respondents noted some decline in income.

Manual workers and those in the accommodation and catering services were among the hardest hit by the crisis, Grafton Recruitment said in a press release on July 20, noting about 37% of employees polled said their working conditions had changed.

However, thanks to support from the Czech state, in the form of loans for businesses or contributions to maintain jobs, there were no major redundancies in the first phase of the crisis, according to Grafton Recruitment.

“Much more often, companies had to reduce wages and benefits, as well as reduce working hours. In total, such changes affected 31% of Czech employees,” the agency said.

Manual workers and hotel or restaurant employees tried hardest to find work in a new field, Grafton Recruitment said. Most sought jobs in companies operating e-shops, logistics or business services.

According to Czech Labor Office data, the percentage of unemployed in the country stagnated at 3% in March, rising gradually over the following months to 3.7% in June, Czech Radio said.