Small Business Workers Smashed By Lockdowns

Written by:
12 September 2020
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Workers in small businesses have been smashed by lockdown measures compared to workers in big businesses, according to an analysis released today by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

The analysis, based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data, shows that between 14 March and 22 August, 377,400 small business employees lost their job, compared to 30,900 big business employees. The analysis also compares small business job losses by state, demonstrating that the sharpest decline between 14 March and 22 August occurred in Victoria where 12.6% of small business jobs were destroyed.

“The lockdown induced destruction of small business is a tragedy for mainstream Australia and the Australian way of life,” said Cian Hussey, Research Fellow at the IPA.


Note: Small businesses are defined as those with fewer than 20 employees, and big businesses are defined as those with 200 or more employees.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and the heart of communities. Small business owners embody the Australian way of life, they are hardworking, take risks, create prosperity for others and have a stake in the success of their local community,” said Mr Hussey.

“The lockdown measures in place since March have smashed small businesses while larger businesses have mostly been able to weather the crisis.”

“Daniel Andrews is crushing jobs with continued lockdown measures, with those employed by small businesses suffering the highest portion of job losses anywhere in the country. Victoria’s small businesses have been hammered by the lockdown, and they will continue to suffer while Andrews pursues his fanciful elimination strategy.”

Further demonstrating the divide across Australia, recent analysis by the IPA found that while 572,700 jobs have been destroyed in the private sector since 14 March, 22,100 jobs have been added in the public sector. This means that for every job added to the public sector, 26 jobs in the private sector have been destroyed.

“Both the Commonwealth and state governments must commit to backing small business and entrepreneurial Australians. This means cutting red tape and reducing taxes, both of which place disproportionate burdens on small business.”

“Small businesses are vital to Australia’s economic recovery. They will create the jobs that will get Australians back into work. The Morrison Government should carve small business out of the Fair Work Act 2009 to assist with the economic recovery.”

“Without rapid small business creation, Australians will be deprived of the dignity of work for years to come,” said Mr Hussey.

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