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Effects of COVID-19 on the Australian Economy: Insights into the Mobility and Unemployment Rates in Education and Tourism Sectors

Hafiz Suliman Munawar (), Sara Imran Khan (), Fahim Ullah (), Abbas Z. Kouzani () and M. A. Parvez Mahmud ()
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Hafiz Suliman Munawar: School of Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Kensington, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Sara Imran Khan: Faculty of Chemical Energy, University of New South Wales, Kensington, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Fahim Ullah: School of Civil Engineering and Surveying, University of Southern Queensland, Springfield Central, Toowoomba, QLD 4300, Australia
Abbas Z. Kouzani: School of Engineering, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC 3216, Australia
M. A. Parvez Mahmud: School of Engineering, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC 3216, Australia

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 20, 1-17

Abstract: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected global economies due to lockdowns, business closures, and travel and other restrictions. To control the spread of the virus, several countries, including Australia, imposed strict border restrictions and lockdown measures. Accordingly, international borders have been closed, and all incoming international passengers are mandated to a 14-day hotel quarantine. Residents’ movements and businesses have been limited to essential services only. Employees have been directed to work from home while businesses moved to a remote working model. Due to such stringent measures, small and medium businesses such as cafes, restaurants, hotels, childcare centers, and tourism-based institutions incurred heavy losses, pushing a considerable portion of such small businesses to close. The airlines, education, tourism, and hospitality sector were the worst impacted among all. Due to such closures and associated effects of COVID-19, the unemployment rates are assumed to be significantly increased in countries like Australia. However, a study investigating this unemployment and reporting its status does not exist for Australia. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the effects of COVID-19 control measures such as travel restriction and lockdown on Australia’s employment status and labor markets. The data for the local transport network, unemployment rates and impacts on the tourism industry in Australia were extracted from the public data sources to assess the unemployment rates at both national and state-wide levels. Further, we also looked into the rehabilitation measures by the Australian government, such as the Job Keeper and Job Seeker programs in March 2020, that aim to provide support to people who are unable to run their businesses or have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Overall, we observed that despite the global crisis, the Australian unemployment rate has reduced in the last year.

Keywords: Job Keeper; Job Seeker; Australian employment; unemployment; COVID-19; Australian universities; tourism; mobility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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