8 in 10 hardest-hit federal electorates are now in Victoria

Updated ABS payroll data shows that job losses due to COVID-19 were clearly concentrating in Victoria, even before Stage 3 and 4 restrictions took effect across the state.

As of 11 July, 8 of the 10 hardest-hit electorates across Australia were in Victoria, with the exceptions being the NSW seats of Sydney and Kingsford Smith. The 3 hard-hit electorates were Gippsland, Monash, and Mallee, all in rural Victoria.

The number of jobs in Victoria was 7.3 per cent lower in mid-July than in mid-March, a deeper fall than any other state. In inner Melbourne, the number of jobs was down nearly 10 per cent from mid-March. There were also further job losses in NSW in the last two weeks of the data, due to rising fears of the virus.

These figures capture only the start of the Stage 3 lockdowns which were extended to all of Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire from 8 July.

The subsequent introduction of Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne and the Stage 3 restrictions across regional Victoria will only add to the job losses in coming data releases.

Rural and inner-metropolitan electorates continue to be hit hardest

Our previous analysis of job losses to the end of May found that urban electorates were most affected by COVID-19, with 9 of the 10 hardest hit electorates in inner- or outer-metropolitan areas.

The updated data show that most of the job losses are still in urban electorates, but some parts of rural Victoria have also been affected in recent weeks. Of the top 10 hardest-hit electorates, 6 are in inner-metropolitan areas and 4 are rural. Five are held by the ALP, 4 by the Coalition, and 1 by the Greens.

Across all inner-metropolitan electorates, four-fifths have lost more than 5 per cent of their jobs since the start of the pandemic, and more than one-fifth have lost more than 7.5 per cent of their jobs. Of the electorates which have lost more than 7.5 per cent of their jobs, all but one are either in Victoria or in urban NSW.

On an industry level, the heaviest job losses are still in the accommodation and food sector, followed by arts and recreation. There has been a recent decline in jobs in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries.

Underlying data

You can download the underlying data on federal electorates ranked by the share of jobs lost as well as the regional classification, state, and sitting member here

Co Authors :

Researcher at Grattan Institute