The pandemic saw billions wiped off the economy and the highest unemployment rate in 19 years, but new data has revealed exactly which suburbs Covid-19 hit the hardest financially.
Inner-city suburbs primarily made up of middle-class Aussies were hardest hit, consulting firm Taylor Fry’s Financial Impact Index revealed.
The Index uses a colour-coded map of Australia ranging from green (low impact) to crimson (extreme impact) to identify financial impact across each postcode by measuring individuals’ reduction in income relative to their baseline expenses.
In Sydney, as at 25 April, the inner-west suburbs of Surry Hills, Erskineville, Newtown and Sydenham, as well as the easter suburb of Bondi Beach were shown to have suffered an “extreme impact” from the virus.
That’s despite having a significantly lower population of unemployed Aussies: Erskineville had 20 per cent less unemployed Australians, while Newtown had 14.4 per cent less and Bondi had 12.9 per cent less.
The same was true in Melbourne, where inner-city suburbs like Richmond, Fitzroy, Brunswick and Elwood were all coloured crimson.
Also read: The suburbs with the most job losses
Taylor Fry director Pru Goward told the SMH it was “a middle class disaster”.
“The impact of this has been much more likely to be felt in middle-class households than in poor households.”
Goward said this was a significant different outcome to the Great Depression in the 1930s where the reverse was true.
According to the data, inner-city suburbs feature a higher proportion of medium-to-high income earners, meaning when these employees faced salary cuts or job losses, they stood to lose more money when reduced to JobKeeper.
In Erskineville, there are 7.4 per cent more workers earning between $104,000 and $156,000 than the state average, and in Bondi, there are 7.6 per cent more workers earning more than $156,000 than the state average.
In Melbourne’s Richmond, 5.2 per cent more workers earn between $104,000 and $156,000 compared to the state average, while 4.4 per cent more workers earn above $156,000 than the state average.
“People on incomes in the $50,000 to $100,000 range are the ones likely to have the least buffer but the biggest financial fall in income,” the firm’s principal Alan Greenfield told the SMH.
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