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The economic impact on parts of our community

The economic impact of the pandemic has been felt by almost every Victorian – whether it’s them, or someone they love.

Family in the park

It’s why as we rebuild from the pandemic, the Victorian Government wants to make sure no worker, sector or community is left behind during our recovery.

Most industries have seen job losses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. But several sectors have experienced a greater economic impact.

Their recovery – and the recovery of their workforce – risks being slower, which is why one of the four key elements of the Jobs Plan is to provide targeted support for affected workers.

This pandemic has also laid bare the very real cracks in our economy.

Those who have suffered the most have been women, young people, those aged over 60, and Victorians who have plenty of experience but don’t always have a formal qualification.

The pandemic has made the existing gender disparity more pronounced, with women more likely to have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Female employment and participation were further affected by remote learning and the closure of early childhood education and care services to keep families safe.

Childcare responsibilities fell disproportionately to women, with Australian women at least four times more likely than men to report they looked after children full time during the pandemic’s public health restrictions.

Participation rate by gender

The pandemic also hit young Australians.

In fact, their employment was affected more than any other demographic group, with young Victorians more likely to work in the hardest-hit industries including recreation, accommodation, food services and the arts.

For example, in 2019, some 63% of the accommodation and food services workforce was under the age of 30.

Change in employment by gender and age

The JobMaker package in the Commonwealth Budget 2020-21 includes a range of measures that acknowledge the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on young people. Tens of thousands of young Victorians will potentially be supported by the scheme.

But an incentive to hire a young person will require complementary and holistic strategies.

That includes making sure young Victorians have the skills and support they need, and that businesses have the confidence and growth opportunities to hire new staff. That’s what the Jobs Plan delivers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data indicate that older Victorians have also been significantly affected during the pandemic, potentially having long-term consequences for their retirement and later years.

Qualification and skill levels also factor into how the economic impact has affected individual workers.

Since March 2020, the greatest decline in employment has been among occupations requiring the completion of secondary education or less, including labourers and hospitality workers.

Workers without post-school qualifications are also less likely to be in jobs that could adjust to the public health restrictions by working from home.

This pandemic has had a profound impact on these Victorians.

As we rebuild, genuine recovery will mean making sure they’re at the heart of our response.

Reviewed 21 November 2020

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