COVID-19 bigger shock than WWII to Aussie economy and workforce

9 April 2020

Over 27% of Australians are either unemployed or under-employed – a record high as customer-focused industries have been largely shut-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Roy Morgan. 

The research house’s latest employment statistics found that a record high 3.92 million of Australians were unemployed or under-employed and looking for more work in the second half of March. 

It said unemployment for the second half of March jumped “a staggering” 1.4 million to 2.4 million (16.8%) and under-employment increased 374,000 to 1.52 million (10.6%). 

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Commenting, Roy Morgan chief executive, Michele Levine, said the COVID-19 pandemic was the biggest shock to the Australian economy, and workforce, since World War II. 

“The ‘JobKeeper’ plan was announced on Monday March 30 and the first ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating taken since the announcement showed a record bounce in the index which closely tracks consumer sentiment of 10.1% (up 6.6 points) to 71.9 – up from a record low of 65.3,” Levine said. 

“The results from today’s Roy Morgan March employment and unemployment estimates show the value of timely data closely tracking the employment statuses of Australian workers. 

“In this uncertain time as many Australians are unsure when they will be able to resume their previous employment it is vital Governments and policy-makers dealing with the fallout fortunes of many Australians.” 

Roy Morgan unemployed and under-employed estimates 




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