Australia is in for a long and damaging economic slump, unless governments inject substantially more fiscal stimulus.
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.
New Grattan Institute modelling shows that most Australians will have a comfortable retirement – even if they’ve spent some of their super early.
Previously hard-hit rural electorates in Queensland and NSW with large tourism industries have regained some jobs, while inner-city electorates are now among the hardest hit.
Coastal electorates that rely heavily on tourism have been hit hardest, and workers in rural and regional electorates have been hit harder than workers in the major capitals.
2.7 million people either lost their jobs or lost hours of work in April. The unemployment rate doesn’t capture the scale of COVID’s effect on jobs.
A defining feature of the COVID-19 crisis is the uncertainty it’s created. The uncertainty could be very costly for the Australian economy, and will weigh on the economic recovery in Australia until we’re certain we’ve got the virus under control.
The March labour force data will report on a jobs market that sadly no longer exists – the Australia before widespread spatial distancing and shutdowns of non-essential businesses.
Consumer confidence is a timely measure of what Australian households think about their own finances and the state of the economy overall. In the week ending 29 March, the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence index plunged to the lowest level in the nearly-50-year history of that series.
Workers affected by the COVID-19 economic crisis can now access up to $20,000 of their super to help see them through. It’s a good move.