The Department of Education, Skills and Employment is progressively releasing reports on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Australian businesses and their staffing levels.
The first instalment of the Impact of COVID-19 on Businesses report showed the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the majority of businesses.
The latest instalment is based on more than 900 survey responses between 27 March and 24 April 2020.
The results continue to show that the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the majority of businesses, with the demand for their goods and services and cash flow considerably reduced. Consequently, many businesses reported they have reduced staff hours or let staff go.
Of all surveyed businesses, 30 per cent had reduced staff numbers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This compares with 17 per cent of businesses surveyed in 2019 that had reduced staff numbers over the previous 12 months.
Some 54 per cent of businesses reported that COVID-19 had affected their business ‘a great deal’ with another 25 per cent reporting that it had affected their business ‘somewhat’.
Industries such as accommodation and food services and health care and social assistance were greatly impacted, with over 80 per cent of businesses affected ‘a great deal’, while industries such as construction, manufacturing and professional, and scientific and technical services had less than half of its businesses affected ‘a great deal’.
Accommodation and food services businesses were also more likely to let staff go (62 per cent) compared with the average for all industries (28 per cent). Construction businesses were the least likely to let staff go (14 per cent).
Accommodation and food services and health care and social assistance businesses were the most likely to have reduced staff hours (69 per cent and 52 per cent respectively), compared with all industries (46 per cent). Businesses in the professional, scientific and technical services industry were the least likely to have reduced staff hours (38 per cent).
In the week to 24 April, only 9 per cent of businesses surveyed expected to decrease in staff numbers in the coming months, a decrease of 10 percentage points compared with the previous week (19 per cent).
Additionally, the proportion of businesses that expected current impacts of COVID-19 to become more severe declined sharply from 50 per cent in the week ending 17 April to 29 per cent in the week ending 24 April.
Take a look on the Labour Market Information Portal to view all published Impacts of COVID-19 on Businesses reports, and subscribe to receive future updates on these topics and more.
- Impact of COVID-19 on Businesses report (Update 1: Thursday 16 April, 2020)
- The Labour Market Information Portal is updated regularly as new data becomes available. To stay up to date, please subscribe by emailing email@example.com
- For information on the Australian Government’s measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic go to Australia.gov.au, Business.gov.au or treasury.gov.au
- For advice for job seekers on changes to mutual obligation requirements, visit dese.gov.au/covid-19/job-seekers
From the newsroom
- Impact of COVID-19 on Australian businesses - part one
- Explainer: COVID-19 mutual obligation arrangements
- More assistance for businesses and those looking for work through online Jobs Hub
- Keeping up-to-date with Australia’s labour market during the Coronavirus pandemic
- How to identify your skills and transition to jobs in demand