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Casual workers feel brunt of COVID-19 recession

  • December 14 2020
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Casual workers feel brunt of COVID-19 recession

By Cameron Micallef
December 14 2020

New research has shown that casual employees bore the brunt of job losses as well as the largest growth in pay.

COVID-19 recession

Casual workers feel brunt of COVID-19 recession

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  • December 14 2020
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New research has shown that casual employees bore the brunt of job losses as well as the largest growth in pay.

COVID-19 recession

Research released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that casual workers accounted for around two-thirds of people who lost a job early in the COVID-19 period.

ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said total employment fell from around 13 million to 12.2 million, with 500,000 of those jobs coming from casual staff, between February and May. 

“Prior to the COVID period, casuals accounted for around 25 per cent of all employees. This fell to around 20 per cent in May,” Mr Jarvis said.

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Between May and August, casual employment rose to 2.3 million, a recovery of around 37.2 per cent of the earlier fall. Estimates for November 2020 will be published in detailed Labour Force statistics on 23 December.

Employee earnings rise

While the pandemic has seen the number of Australians becoming unemployed rise, government subsidies, including JobKeeper, have seen the take-home pay of low-income workers also rise.

The ABS highlighted that there has been considerable change in employment and earnings for lower-paid workers, with a sizeable increase in people earning around $750 per week, the amount of the JobKeeper wage subsidy.

They found that 920,000 employees earned between $700 and $799 per week in August 2020, which was much higher than the 580,000 people in August 2019.

The ABS said JobKeeper subsidies have seen the median earnings of casuals increase from $546 in August 2019 to $624 in August 2020, an increase of 14.3 per cent. 

This increase was much higher than for employees with leave entitlements, whose median earnings increased by 4.0 per cent.

Casual workers feel brunt of COVID-19 recession
COVID-19 recession
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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