“Young Australians…Are Being Hit Hardest By The COVID-19 Economic And Social Lockdown Measures”

Written by:
12 May 2020
“Young Australians…Are Being Hit Hardest By The COVID-19 Economic And Social Lockdown Measures” - Featured image

A daily email by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, providing the latest economic data and policy measures for journalists, commentators and IPA members.

Daily IPA comment, attributable to Daniel Wild, Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs:

“Young Australians (those aged 18-24 years) are being hit hardest by the COVID-19 economic and social lockdown measures, in terms of the loss of their jobs and income, but also through a deterioration to their mental health and elevated levels of anxiety and worry compared with other age cohorts.”

A study released by four academics from the Australian National University on 7 May 2020 titled Hardship, distress, and resilience: The initial impacts of COVID-19 in Australia found that 77.6 per cent of young Australians reported anxiety and worry due to COVID-19. This compares with 67 per cent for all age groups, 66 per cent for those aged 45-54 years, and 64 per cent for those aged 75 or more years.

“The ANU study finds declines to employment due to the COVID-19 lockdown measures are the largest for young Australians. This is consistent with polling data commissioned by the IPA which found that 60 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 63 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds have lost their job, had their hours cut, or had their pay cut over the past six weeks. This compares to 40 per cent for all Australians.”

“The ANU study provides further evidence that the lockdown measures have imposed significant and potentially permanent economic and social damage on young Australians, many of whom may never fully recover.”

Research prepared by IPA Research Fellows Kurt Wallace and Cian Hussey. 

Latest Changes

Australia

  • 6,948 confirmed cases and 97 deaths. There are 672 active cases and 6,179 recoveries. There are 49 cases in hospital and 16 of those are in intensive care.
  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has delivered the Ministerial Statement on the Economy to Parliament. Some of the key numbers from the statement include:
    • The underlying cash deficit was at $22.4 billion at the end of March. The deficit was $9.9 billion higher than the forecast in MYEFO.
    • Tax receipts were $11.4 billion lower than forecasted, while payments were $1.4 billion lower than forecasted. Payments are set to rise as spending measures are enacted and tax receipts are expected to fall further due to reduced economic activity, lower employment, and business closures.
    • Since MYEFO, total gross Australian debt has increased from $560 billion to $618 billion as of 8 May.
    • 7 million people have received the first instalment of the $750 cash payment.
    • 1.4 million people are receiving JobSeeker payments.
    • 835,000 businesses employing 5.5 million workers have enrolled for the JobKeeper program.
  • The latest Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey from the ABS found:
    • One in four people (26 per cent) who had a job in the first week of April worked less hours than usual in the previous week, whilst 13 per cent worked more hours than usual.
    • The proportion of Australians who reported working paid hours dropped from 64 per cent in the first week of March to 56 per cent in the first week of April.

International

  • New Zealand will move from stage three restrictions to stage two restrictions on Thursday 14 May, which will see retail stores, shopping centres, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, playgrounds and gyms reopened. From Monday 18 May, schools and early childhood centres will reopen. And from Thursday 21 May bars will reopen. All will be subject to social distancing and hygiene measures.
  • The UK government has released a 51-page roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions over the coming months. It allows for interactions with one person from outside a household in an open area, and encourages workers in food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research to get back to work. Schools will begin reopening on June 1, with kindergarten and years one and six pupils to return to class. Social distancing and hygiene measures are to remain in place across the country.

Workforce paid by the government

65 per cent of the labour force are employed by the Commonwealth and state governments or local councils, receiving JobSeeker unemployment payment or the JobKeeper wage subsidy:

  • Public sector: 2 million (14.6 per cent of labour force).
  • JobSeeker: 1.4 million (10.6 per cent of labour force).
  • JobKeeper: 5.5 million (40.1 per cent of labour force).
  • Total: 8.9 million (65 per cent of labour force).
  • Labour force: 13.7 million.

Schools

  • New South Wales – Public and Catholic schools will return to face-to-face classes one day a week (year 12 students will return to as many classes as the school can provide). The Berejiklian government will monitor for two weeks before bringing classes back full-time. Independent schools are making their own decisions.
  • Victoria – A staggered return to classrooms will begin on May 26, with prep, grades one and two, and years 11 and 12 returning. Students in years three to 10 will return on June 9.
  • Queensland – From May 11 kindergarten, prep and years 1, 11 and 12 return. Remaining students planned to return from May 25.
  • Western Australia – Face-to-face teaching in place for all students, but attendance is optional until May 18.
  • South Australia – Schools reopened and students encouraged to attend.
  • Tasmania – Home-learning still in place, but schools open for parents who are unable to supervise their children.
  • Northern Territory – Returned to classrooms on April 20.
  • ACT – Plan to return during term 2. Primary school children, and year 7 and 12 students will return first.

Plans to lift restrictions

NSW

Stage 1

  • Begins on 15 May.
  • Home gatherings limited to a maximum of five visitors from seperate households.
  • Gathering limit increased to 10 people for outdoor activities.
  • Weddings limited to 10 guests.
  • Funerals allowed 20 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.
  • Religious gatherings limited to 10 people.

Victoria

Stage 1

  • Begins on 13 May.
  • Home gatherings limited to a maximum of five visitors from seperate households.
  • Gathering limit increased to 10 people for outdoor activities, and religious gatherings.
  • Weddings will be limited to 10 people plus the couple and celebrant.
  • Funerals allowed 20 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.
  • Food and drink businesses remain limited to takeaway and home delivery.

Queensland

Stage 1

  • Begins on 15 May.
  • Home gatherings limited to a maximum of five visitors from seperate households.
  • Gatherings allowed for up to 10 people for most outdoor non-contact activities, libraries, weddings, religious services.
  • Funerals up to 20 people indoors or 30 people outdoors.
  • Recreational travel allowed within 150 km regions.
  • 10 person maximum for dining in at restaurants, cafes, pubs, licensed clubs, RSLs and hotels.

Stage 2

  • Begins on 12 June.
  • Gatherings of up to 20 people.
  • Funerals allowed up to 50 people.
  • Recreational travel limit raised to 250km. Camping and accomodation restrictions lifted, including caravan parks.

Stage 3

  • Begins on 10 July
  • Gatherings of up to 100 people.

South Australia

Stage 1

  • Begins on 11 May.
  • Gathering limit increased to 10 people.
  • Funerals allowed up to 20 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.

Stage 2

  • Begins from 8 June
  • Gathering limit increased to 20 people.

Western Australia

Stage 1

  • Stage 1 has been in place since 27 April.

Stage 2

  • Begins on 18 May.
  • Public gathering limit increased to 20 people.
  • Weddings and funerals allowed up to 20 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.
  • Some regional travel bans remain in place.

Stage 3

  • Due to begin around four weeks after stage 2.

Tasmania

Stage 1

  • Begins on 18 May.
  • Gatherings increased to 10 people.
  • Households capped at 5 visitors.
  • 30 people allowed at outdoor funerals. Funerals increased to a 20 person limit on 11 May.

Stage 2

  • Due to begin on 15 June.
  • Gatherings increased to a 20 person limit.
  • Review of household visitor restrictions.
  • Funeral limit lifted to 50 people.

Stage 3

  • Due to begin on 13 July.
  • Gatherings maximum limit will be lifted to between 50 and 100 people.
  • Aged care homes will be allowed five visitors and multiple visits.

Northern Territory

Stage 1

  • Began on 1 May.
  • Restrictions lifted on a host of indoor and outdoor recreational activities.

Stage 2

  • Due to begin on 15 May.
  • More restrictions lifted on businesses, including food services, gyms, and public libraries.

Stage 3

  • Due to begin on 5 June.

ACT

Stage 1

  • Began on 9 May.
  • Gathering limit lifted to a maximum of 10 people for both indoor and outdoor gatherings. Includes religious ceremonies, outdoor boot camps, and real estate open houses and auctions.
  • Home gatherings are limited to 10 people with the exception of where two households coming together is more than 10 people.
  • Weddings allowed 10 guests.
  • Funerals allowed 20 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.

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