ABS responds to COVID-19

The ABS is committed to delivering timely and accurate information about the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Australian society and the economy.

We are producing a range of existing and new statistical products, providing relevant insights on households, employment and industry to inform government, business and community responses to the pandemic.

New statistical releases will provide information on:

  • Business impacts such as cash flow and turnover
  • Additional monthly analysis on hours worked, including reasons for working less hours, and quarterly hours worked analysis by industry
  • Preliminary retail turnover data
  • Interactive employment maps
  • Preliminary import and export data
  • COVID-related employment and health implications for households
  • Additional analysis of short term overseas visitors and international students
  • Interactive age and health conditions population maps
  • Confidentialised microdata for Australian businesses will be made available for researchers through TableBuilder so they can produce tables, graphs and maps.

Find all ABS COVID-19 statistical products

New data sources to inform official statistics in response to COVID-19

The ABS has explored administrative and transactions data from the public and private sector to inform official social and economic statistics during COVID-19.

The ABS is currently working to explore:

  • Bank transactions data – aggregated, de-identified transactions data from major banks to generate public value by informing official ABS estimates of business sales, household consumption and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and assist in understanding the evolution of the Australian economy.
  • Energy consumption data – to understand how electricity usage is changing for businesses and households at an area level, and to understand power as a consumption item. Early research can be seen here: Using electricity data to understand COVID-19 impacts
  • Mobility data – samples of aggregated, de-identified data on mobility and location from a commercial provider, based on mobile device GPS, to assess the value of these types of data to inform short-term population movements.

This investigation also made use of publicly available, device-based location data published by Apple and Google, and pedestrian counter data published by the City of Melbourne. No data was sourced from the Australian Government's COVIDSafe app.

Further information on this investigation will be available in an upcoming "Methodology News" article due to be published early 2021

The ABS is committed to upholding the privacy, confidentiality and security of the information it collects. The ABS is an independent statutory authority established by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 and is well positioned in the Commonwealth to collect this information.

COVID-19 stories and case studies

Protecting households, businesses and staff

The ABS is prioritising the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, as well as households and businesses providing information to the ABS. We encourage participation online or by phone. More information is available for survey respondents.