Additional labour market analysis released today


The ABS has released additional information on hours worked in Australia for February, as part of a regular update on the labour market impacts of COVID-19.

This information was released in a short article alongside the detailed monthly Labour Force statistics and will be repeated and expanded over the coming months. This is part of a suite of additional information that was announced on 16 March 2020 to help measure the economic impact of COVID-19.

As with other major disruption to the economy, impacts to the Australian labour market usually become evident early in hours worked.

Given the Labour Force Survey is collected in respect of the first half of each month, analysis of hours worked has not identified a notable COVID-19 impact in February. There was a relatively low number of confirmed active COVID-19 cases within Australia during that period.

The additional analysis released today highlights the breadth of labour statistics products that the ABS produces each month and quarter, and how to effectively use them to monitor COVID-19 related developments over the coming months.

Ongoing operations during COVID-19

In addition to providing further analysis of Labour Force statistics, the ABS will be actively managing the potential risks from COVID-19 to its survey operations. The ABS suspended face-to-face interviews in the final week of the March survey, with all remaining interviews conducted by telephone. Each month, only around 10% of households respond through face-to-face interviews, with around 90% responding through telephone interviews or online.

Respondents to the Labour Force Survey may note further changes in how the ABS contacts them over the coming months. The ABS acknowledges the tremendous support that the Australian community is continuing to provide in supporting high quality and critically important Labour Force statistics.

Other additional labour market information

On 18 March 2020, the ABS released some interactive employment maps, based on the most recent data from Jobs in Australia (cat no 6160.0), which is derived from summary administrative data, to support a regional assessment of potential impacts of COVID-19 on employment. The underlying information in these maps is available for all age groups and industries in Jobs in Australia (cat. no. 6160.0).

Media note

  • The interactive maps provide insights into the spread of people aged 50 and over, with an additional focus on some industries. Workers in the older age groups are considered to be at a higher risk from COVID-19. The underlying information in these maps is available for all age groups and industries in Jobs in Australia (cat. no. 6160.0).
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team on 1300 175 070 or (8.30am - 5pm Monday - Friday AEDT).

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