COVID-19 has radically affected Australia’s labour market.
The nation has seen an unprecedented fall in employment, a dramatic drop in hours worked, a significant increase in underemployment, a record number of people leaving the labour force, and job vacancies falling to the lowest level in over a decade. Young people and women have been disproportionately affected, some industries have fared better than others, and capital cities have generally felt the impact more deeply than regional areas.
Thousands of jobs have been lost and the lives of many Australians greatly altered. Despite this, Australia is still doing better than most other nations in terms of economic resilience.
The National Skills Commission will work to ensure skill shortages don’t act as a handbrake on growth as businesses begin hiring again. Analysing the impact of COVID-19 will help identify where there is growth and what jobs are demand. Matching workers to those jobs in this uncertain and evolving environment will require the ability to quickly identify skills needs and retrain people. The focus on skilling, re-skilling or up-skilling displaced workers will be essential to open new prospects for job seekers and drive the recovery of the jobs market and the national economy.