Hospitality are one of the hardest hit industries in terms of job losses. Image – Canva
  • Nationally, payroll jobs fell 2% in the second half of July
  • The bulk of losses were in Covid impacted industries
  • In the same fortnight NSW saw a 3.7% decline in payroll jobs

Payroll jobs continued to fall nationwide at the end of last month, with New South Wales experiencing the brunt of the pain according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

Nationally payroll jobs fell 2% in the last two weeks of July compared to a 1.8% decline the previous fortnight. In New South Wales payroll jobs fell 3.7% in the second half of July.

Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS said Sydney and surrounding areas are the most heavily impacted.

“The latest fortnight of data coincided with increasing restrictions in the fourth and fifth weeks of the lockdown in New South Wales, including a pause in construction activity. It also included lockdowns in Victoria and South Australia, and travel and border restrictions across all states and territories.

“Payroll jobs in New South Wales fell by 3.7% in the second half of July, and by 7.1% over the first five weeks since the lockdown began on 26 June.

Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS

“Over those five weeks, payroll jobs fell by 8.9% in Greater Sydney and by 3.8% in the rest of New South Wales. Outside of Sydney, payroll jobs in adjacent regions continued to be the most impacted.”

Beyond New South Wales, the states experiencing the mores job losses are South Australia (2.7%), Victoria (1.3%) and Queensland (1.3%). The decline in jobs for these states can be attributed to lockdowns and border restrictions which were in place during the second half of July.

Industries Impacted

Hospitality and arts were have been the hardest hit by the recent restrictions.

Nationwide almost every industry saw a decline in payroll jobs in the second half of July.

The ‘arts and recreation’ category saw a 5.9% decline in jobs. ‘Accommodation and food’ services had a 5.8% drop.

“Payroll job losses in the accommodation and food services, Retail trade and construction industries accounted for 44.3 per cent of job losses across Australia in the second half of July, and 45.4 per cent in New South Wales,” Mr Jarvis said.

State by state share of payroll job losses
Source – ABS

It is important to note that the payroll jobs recorded by the ABS include the only jobs for which a person was paid during the two weeks.

Some instances recorded as ‘job losses’ may in fact be those temporarily stood down.

“In comparing different payroll job falls over the pandemic, it’s important to remember that current COVID-related government support payments are paid directly to people or businesses, rather than through payrolls,” Mr Jarvis said.

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