Report Indicates Australian Hospitality Industry to be the Hardest Hit

The Australian hospitality industry is poised to be the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Australian hospitality industry is poised to be the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 20, 2020 — As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to reveal themselves around the world, a newly released report anticipates some dramatic job losses in Australia in the coming weeks. The Grattan Institute — a group dedicated to providing solutions to practical problems in Australia — has released the results of their research on the effects of COVID-19 on employment in the country. The numbers they provide do not paint a pretty picture, and are in line with what other countries are witnessing around the world.

The paper, entitled Shutdown: estimating the COVID-19 employment shock, analyzes the different areas of the Australian workforce and how they could be impacted by the pandemic. The institute predicts that approximately one-fifth to a quarter of Australians will be unemployed due to COVID-19.

In particular, the paper indicates that jobs in the hospitality will be the most significantly impacted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Predictions state that approximately two-thirds of workers within the hospitality industry, including accommodations and food service, will be out of work. This is largely due to the nature of business in this industry, with many people working in close proximity to each other which makes maintaining physical distancing extremely difficult. Many businesses are laying off workers, either permanently or temporarily, due to these restrictions. At the same time, many non-essential services, such as restaurants, are being mandated by the government to shut their doors to the public. This is causing significant job losses in Australia’s food service industry.

The research also emphasizes that these job losses relate directly to those Australians within particular age and gender groups. Workers who are young, low-income women are predicted to be the biggest group effected as they have higher incidences of employment within the hospitality industry. As the industry continues to take significant hits due to COVID-19, these workers will be the most affected.

The report also indicates that approximately 40% of those who work in the food service industry are short-term casual workers. In many cases, these workers are not eligible for COVID-19 government assistance programs. This points to the significant struggles that workers in the food industry will continue to face as the pandemic goes on.

The Grattan Institute acknowledges that the analysis in the paper will have to be compared with data that is gathered down the line. As the pandemic progresses, more statistics about job losses, particularly those in the hospitality industry will become available and used to analyze the effects of the pandemic on Australia’s workforce. If the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world are any indication of what Australia could experience, then the paper’s predictions could not be far off the mark.