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Average changes in hours worked and household incomes during COVID-19

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This chart shows the changes in incomes and work hours during first years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It shows that, during ‘year one’ of recovery (2020-21), average household after-tax incomes grew by an extraordinary 3.1% after inflation, much faster than average income growth since the Global Financial Crisis. This occurred despite strict COVID lockdowns and the economic uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, which reduced average paid working hours per capita by 0.5% compared to hours worked in 2019-20.

During ‘year two’ (2021-22), these trends were reversed. Average household incomes declined by 0.7% after inflation despite the reduced severity of lockdowns and a solid 2.4% increase in overall paid working hours per capita.

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