Significant Employment Changes Across Bermuda due to COVID-19

MEDIA RELEASE: May 13, 2020

COVID-19 is felt to be an extremely serious threat to Bermuda, and has resulted in significant employment changes across the Island.


Following its rapid spread around the world, COVID-19 has brought along significant economic, employment, and social changes, and Bermuda residents believe the virus to be an extremely serious threat, and one they are concerned about. 

Indeed, surveyed in April, seven in ten residents rate the COVID-19 pandemic as a serious threat to the Island. Across demographics, women, and those with household incomes between $75,000 and $149,999 per year as opposed to those earning less, are more likely to see the pandemic as a serious threat.

Moreover, eight in ten residents express concern that they themselves will contract the virus, while a similar eight in ten are concerned for an immediate family member. Once again, there are differences across demographics with women and black residents expressing greater concern than their counterparts about contracting the virus.

The pandemic has had a serious impact on residents’ work and income. Indeed, approximately four in ten have experienced a reduction in the number of work hours, while one-third have seen a reduction to their salary or pay. Most notably, one-quarter of Islanders (excluding those who are retired) have experienced a layoff.

Of note, these impacts have affected low income earners to a much greater extent than those with higher incomes. Further, reductions in work hours hit older residents, Bermudians and black residents to a greater extent than their counterparts, and men and black residents are more likely to have seen a reduction in salary or pay.

Of those who experienced a layoff (n=86), six in ten have applied for the temporary unemployment benefit provided by the Government. Of those applied (n=48), more than one-half have received payment at the time of data collection. 

These results are the first part of a snapshot TRA Bermuda Omnibus® pulse survey conducted in April 2020 with a random sample of 400 adult residents of Bermuda (18 years of age or older). The survey was conducted by phone from April 22-29, 2020. Overall results accurate to within ± 4.9 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times. More results from this study will be released in coming days.

For more information, please contact:

Graham Redford, Managing Partner, Total Research Associates, 278-8882 or


Margaret Chapman, COO and Partner, Narrative Research, at (902) 493-3834 or