Research reveals six times as many people have applied for a call centre job during COVID-19 restrictions compared to the same timeframe in 2019.
In job hunting website Seek's 'Call Centre & Customer Service' jobs category, applications have increased more than six times since coronavirus restrictions started, compared to the same time period in 2019.
"With geography no longer a barrier, these roles appeal to many people as they can be done from home and usually don’t require a specific qualification," Seek's report said.
Additionally, Seek interviewed 4,800 individuals and found nearly one third (30%) of casual workers and one in five (21%) contractors have been stood down or lost their job since the outbreak of the virus.
One in four are also working fewer hours and 7% have taken a pay cut.
This survey is corroborated by Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data collected from 14 March through 18 April that found 33.4% of jobs were lost in the accommodation and food services sectors.
Wage growth data was also soft for March - before coronavirus lockdowns on 22 March - with just a 0.2% real rise when inflation is taken into account.
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Most still 'optimistic' on the jobs front
Seek's survey also found 60% feel optimistic for the future - up from 51% in the two weeks prior.
In the healthcare industry, many are also more satisfied with their jobs, with a practice nurse telling Seek:
“People are coming in and saying, ‘we applaud you, you are the heroes of today’."
“It just feels amazing to be recognised for what we do. It’s reminded me that this profession makes a difference to people’s lives.
“Being able to help people during such a stressful time makes me feel very happy in my job.
“I feel like I am using my skills for a greater purpose.”
Seek put the increase in optimism down to the COVID-19 curve flattening in Australia.
Australia's underutilisation rate reached 19.9% in April - reflecting an unemployment rate of 6.2% and an underemployment rate of 13.7%. Much of the pain of COVID-19 has filtered through via fewer hours #ausbiz #auspol @IndeedAU pic.twitter.com/bE1jSidYi0— Callam Pickering (@CallamPickering) May 14, 2020
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