One-in-three Australians have been impacted by the economic downturn due to the coronavirus, either losing their jobs, having their hours cut or being stood down, a new survey shows. update
There were about 7000 responses to an online survey done by news.com.au between April 27 and May 7, which looked at how Australians were coping with changes to their lives due to the coronavirus pandemic.
About 35 per cent said they had been impacted by the crisis.
This included 16 per cent who had their hours reduced, 6 per cent instructed to take leave, 6 per cent furloughed or stood down, 3 per cent who closed their businesses and 4 per cent who have been let go.
Grattan Institute economist Danielle Wood said the figures lined up reasonably well with official forecasts and data.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has forecast a 20 per cent decline in total hours worked over the first half of this year, while the unemployment rate was expected to rise by 5 per cent.
“It brings home that a lot of Australians are affected, they are losing jobs, reducing their hours and have had a hit to their income. This is being managed partly by changing their habits and their spending,” Ms Wood told news.com.au.
The figures also show that some states and territories are being impacted more than others.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) seems to be faring the best, with 49 per cent of respondents saying they had not made any changes to their spending, much higher than the 36 per cent nationally.
It has the lowest percentage of respondents who said they had applied for JobKeeper, with only 6 per cent applying for the program, compared to 14 per cent nationally.
Those in Tasmania were the most likely to have applied for JobKeeper, with 17 per cent saying they had.
The nation’s capital also had the lowest percentage of those applying for Centrelink payments, with only 2 per cent saying they had done so, compared to 6 per cent nationally.
ACT residents were also less likely to have reduced spending on entertainment and takeway.