Surviving a Lockdown: Changes in Employment and Psychological Well-being of the Population in the Pandemic Era




social changes, employment, pandemic, lockdown, psychological well-being, quarantine


Based on the data of a representative survey of residents of St. Petersburg (N = 1 226), the article investigates changes in employment faced by the citizens during the peak of restrictive measures and regime of self-isolation, as well as the relationship of these changes with psychological well-being. The research shows that the overwhelming majority of respondents experienced negative changes associated with the format of work and its conditions. Self-employed and individual entrepreneurs have been the most affected category in terms of financial losses, while women in — terms of psychological well-being. Contrary to international assessments, changes in employment of the younger generation cannot be interpreted as predominantly negative. The article argues that the loss of job and deterioration of the financial situation contribute significantly to the worsening of psychological well-being. Other kinds of change, including the shift to teleworking, are not associated with the dynamics of indicators of psychological well-being. A subjective assessment of the changes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic as threatening is the second factor in the worsening of the mental state in the acute period of the pandemic and the beginning of the implementation of pandemic-related restrictive measures.

Author Biographies

Ksenia Yu. Eritsyan, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia

  • Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, Saint Petersburg, Russia
    • Cand. Sci. (Psyh.), Researcher at the Institute of Psychology

Maia M. Rusakova, St Petersburg University

  • Sе Petersburg University, Saint Petersburg, Russia
    • Cand. Sci. (Soc.), Associate Professor of the Department of Applied and Branch Sociology
    • Director of the Sociological Clinic of Applied Research

Anastasiia A. Aleksanrova, Saint Petersburg State University

  • Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia
    • Senior Specialist of the Sociological Clinic of Applied Research

Nina M. Usacheva, Saint-Petersburg State University

  • Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia
    • Chief SpecialistResource Center "Center for Sociological and Internet Research"