Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Data: Institute for Business in the Global Context at Tufts University; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

While countries with larger shares of their populations able to work remotely have generally fared better economically throughout the pandemic, there are clear outliers.

The big picture: A smooth transition to telecommuting is just one part of pandemic-era economic health. Factors like infection rates and lockdown measures have had massive impacts as well.

Consider the U.K., where 59% of the workforce can work from home but quarterly GDP growth dropped nearly 22% between Q2 2019 and Q2 2020.

  • "The U.K.'s unfortunate economic state matches the deadly impact of the virus," says Bhaskar Chakravorti, who is dean of global business at Tufts University and has been studying countries' economic resilience. "More people died in the U.K. than anywhere else in Europe."
  • On top of that, the U.K. is disproportionately reliant on the services sector, which has been walloped by the pandemic. More than 10% of its GDP counts on travel and tourism, and the services sector as a whole makes up around three-quarters of the U.K. economy, Chakravorti notes.

What plagued the U.K.'s economy was reflected across Europe, with France and Spain suffering big losses despite having large shares of workers able to telecommute.

The U.S. has fared relatively well — and better than peer nations like the U.K., Canada or Japan — because of its diversified and digitally enabled economy, says Chakravorti. "Even though the U.S. did miserably in terms of COVID management, the economic impact is cushioned by other factors."

The other side: Some of the countries on the lower end of remote work capability, like Indonesia and Turkey, had a tough 2019 to begin with, so their contraction in 2020 looked relatively better.

Go deeper

Biden's economic team will write a new crisis playbook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Joe Biden's economic team faces a daunting task helping the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs or otherwise been financially ravaged by the coronavirus. But most of them have first-hand crisis experience, dating back to when Barack Obama inherited a crumbling economy when he took office in 2009.

Why it matters: Most of President-elect Biden's economic nominees served in the Obama administration, and wish that they could have gone bigger to help America recover from the 2008 financial crisis. But it's not going to be easy for them to push through massive fiscal spending in 2021.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.