Workers ditch the side hustle as JobKeeper takes effect

author-avatar By on June 16, 2020
Workers ditch the side hustle as JobKeeper takes effect

Photo by David Emrich on Unsplash

Data released today revealed nearly a third of all job losses since COVID-19 hit were to secondary jobs not covered by JobKeeper.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) payroll data revealed that since 14 March - the 100th case of COVID-19 - 29% of all jobs lost were 'secondary' jobs.

As defined by the ABS, secondary jobs are other jobs worked concurrently by multiple job holders.

On the week ending 14 March, 5.6% of all jobs were counted as secondary, while in the week ending 30 May that figure was just 3.7%.

In the March quarter, prior to the pandemic taking off, ABS data showed 6% of employed people worked multiple jobs. 

The number of secondary jobs fell 38.8% between 14 March and 30 May, while the number of 'main' jobs fell 5.6%. Total payroll jobs in that period fell 7.5%, but increased 1% through May.  

The ABS put the loss in jobs down to JobKeeper only covering one job, with payments having started flowing from early May.

"JobKeeper can only cover a single job for an eligible employee, with main jobs likely to be supported to a greater extent than secondary jobs," the report said.

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Across all employment in May, however, there was a slight recovery in jobs and payroll wages.

Some of the most-impacted industries due to COVID-19 lockdowns showed some recovery, according to ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis.

“Payroll jobs in the accommodation and food services industry increased by 5.0% through May, but remained 29.1% lower than in mid-March,” he said.

“The latest data showed that the total payroll job losses since mid-March were greatest in the week ending 18 April (8.9%) and had recovered to a 7.5% loss by the end of May.”

Wages were down 8.3% in that period across all industries, with the only sector to see growth being education and training, up 0.7%. 

Accommodation and food services took the biggest wages hit, down more than a quarter, followed by mining at just over a fifth.


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author-avatar
Harrison joined Savings in 2020. He is a journalist with more than four years of experience, with previous stints at News Corp and financial comparison site Canstar. With a keen interest in personal finance, Harrison is passionate about helping consumers make more informed financial decisions.

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