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.
Victorians in 10 postcodes across Melbourne’s north and west have been ordered back into lockdown. But regaining control of COVID-19 remains the responsibility of all Victorians.
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.
Governments around the globe are promising record amounts of spending to tackle the crisis. And those commitments will get bigger before this is over.
A growing body of evidence shows that if we can hold the course for a little while longer, Australia could beat coronavirus.
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.
The lessons from overseas are clear: unless Australians comprehensively comply with spatial distancing, those measures won’t work and our hospitals will be over-run.