120k jobs lost: Qld workforce decimated by virus
AROUND 750,000 Australians have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus, more than 120,000 of them in Queensland.
New analysis by the Australian Bureau of Statistics gives the first official look at the economic devastation caused by the virus, with a 6 per cent drop in jobs between March 14 and April 4 nationally and a 5 per cent drop in Queensland.
Workers in their teens, 20s and 70s have borne the brunt of job losses, and around a quarter of all food service and accommodation jobs have been decimated, according to payroll data from the Australian Taxation Office.
There have been big losses in mining (10 per cent), the arts (14 per cent), information media and telecommunications (8 per cent) and real estate (7.5 per cent) too, but Queensland has actually done better than all other states.
Top economist Chris Richardson said Queensland's decentralised nature had cushioned the impacts.
"People in Queensland don't live on top of each other in the way they do elsewhere and so a given degree of lockdown loses fewer jobs than it does in other states," he told The Courier-Mail.
"Queensland's done a great job (keeping virus numbers down) and you will be a state that bounces back sooner than the Australian average and Australia will bounce back sooner than the world.
"So there's probably some more pain ahead but the bulk of the bad news is already known."
Almost one in 10 workers aged over 70 lost their job, while nearly 8 per cent of jobs held by younger workers in their 20s and teens disappeared.
The least impacted age group were in their 50s.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian MacFarlane said the mining sector was working around the clock to respond to measures like the border closures and FIFO limitations.
"The resources sector will continue to be a stable force of employment for Queenslanders with 58 per cent of companies after the COVID-19 outbreak reporting they would maintain or increase employment," he said.
"There are 759 job vacancies in the Queensland mining, resources and energy sector currently advertised on SEEK with almost half of them (367) advertised in the last fortnight, when the ABS survey stopped."
Martin McConnell hasn't been out of a job since he was 15, but the 21-year-old music publicist and hospitality all-rounder fell victim to the virus driven job cuts.
"Six months ago, I had three jobs so it's unusual now to have nothing on the go, especially coming from such a fast paced, full-time job," the Brisbane man said.
"I'm trying to learn different skills so I can enter back into the workforce better. I'm trying to learn more graphic design stuff, improve my bar skills and wrap my head around stuff while I have the time."
Mr McConnell has signed up to jobseeker but is still waiting for approval, which he won't have until at least the end of the month.
Originally published as 120k jobs lost: Qld workforce decimated by virus