Multi-sector How are unemployment search and public transit use evolving in Europe?

Covid-19 has resulted in social distancing measures and job losses. Google unemployment search shows how top-of-mind awareness varies in European countries, while transit ridership reflects the different approaches of various governments.

17 Apr 2020
  • In Sweden, which has enacted few social distancing restrictions, public transit ridership has declined less than in the rest of Europe.
  • Countries particularly hard hit – such as France, Italy, and Spain – have seen the sharpest declines.
  • Google search interest in unemployment rose rapidly in mid-March across Europe but has since fallen.
  • Italy was the first European country to see a high number of cases, and its unemployment search surged earlier.
  • Germany continues to have among the lowest unemployment search activity, while the UK has the highest.
  • In Switzerland, search interest in unemployment appears to have preceded the number of reported cases of Covid-19.

Use of public transit in Europe vs. 15-Jan-20

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, Moovit

Google search interest for unemployment in Europe

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, Google

Search interest for Covid-19 vs. daily cases in Switzerland

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, Google, Johns Hopkins University