JobKeeper inspires optimism, ANU survey finds

Queues at the Woden Centrelink in March after the coronavirus lockdown came into effect. Picture: Karleen Minney
Queues at the Woden Centrelink in March after the coronavirus lockdown came into effect. Picture: Karleen Minney

The shock-absorbing effect of JobKeeper has made Australians more optimistic about their future job prospects, an Australian National University survey has found.

The latest ANUpoll found while job and employment prospects have remained steady over the past month, Australians' outlooks had significantly improved.

While one in five people surveyed expected to lose their jobs over the next year, that was down from one in four people when the survey last took place in April.

The percentage of people who believed they had zero chance of losing their job jumped from 34.6 per cent in April to 39.2 per cent in May 2020.

"The fact that employment outcomes have not continued to worsen appears to have translated into a significantly more positive outlook for the future within the Australian workforce," study co-author Professor Nicholas Biddle said.

"Compared to many other countries, it would appear that the employment outcomes of Australians have not been as affected as we might otherwise have feared.

"It shows the extraordinary economic measures taken by the government appear to be helping stem the hit to employment caused by this global pandemic."

However, professor Biddle warned the country was not out of the woods yet.

Australians were still less likely to be working, or more likely to be working fewer hours than when the pandemic began, he said.

The study estimated 670,000 jobs had been lost between February and April due to the coronavirus lockdown. This was similar to the 600,000 jobs the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported during March and April.

These losses were "unprecedented in modern economic history", the report said. However the decline seems to have arrested in May, with no further net job losses, according to professor Biddle's estimates.

This story JobKeeper inspires optimism, ANU survey finds first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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