Australia’s jobless outlook hasn’t been this bleak since the Great Depression of the 1920s – and it will take us nearly as long as that downturn lasted for Aussie jobs to get back to pre-coronavirus levels.
New forecasts from Deloitte Access Economics paint a picture of a nearly nine-year road to recovery, with various sectors hit unevenly on the way back to employment levels just prior to the global pandemic.
“The timeline for that recovery varies significantly across regions, sectors and industries,” said Deloitte’s March 2020 employment forecast report.
For example, employment levels of the manufacturing, farming and mining sectors will see a full recovery only at the end of 2028.
“The key losers in terms of jobs losses in the short term (seeing greater than 50 per cent declines) are accommodation, arts recreation and other services (often known as personal services) – and they may take five or six years to recover the job losses seen across the next few months.”
Meanwhile, those working in the property and professional services, education and telecommunication may start to see a lessened impact on their sector and could see solid growth from 2022.
The sectors also vary in terms of how intensely they have been hit as well as how long they will be affected by Covid-19.
For instance, the finance and insurance sector as well as the accommodation, food, arts and recreation sectors will take five years or more to fully recover.
But the arts and hospitality industry will be much more deeply affected, with employment levels down by nearly 60 per cent, while the finance and insurance industry will take a hit of around 12 per cent.
Speaking to Yahoo Finance, IBISWorld industry analyst Jason Aravanis said IBISWorld’s forecasts were largely the same. Both forecasts hinge upon two things: that there is no second wave of the virus, and that a vaccine becomes widely available in the next 18 months.
“If either of those assumptions turns out to be false then all bets are off, and all of these sectors would be looking at a longer and more severe downturn,” he said.