4940.0 - Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, 10-15 June 2020  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/06/2020   
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Household financial stress and stimulus payments

Key findings

  • Two-thirds of Australians (66%) reported their household finances remained unchanged in the four weeks to mid-June.
  • Nearly one in five Australians (19%) reported their household finances had worsened due to COVID-19 in the four weeks to mid-June.
  • Almost all Australians (94%) aged 18 years and over reported their household expects to be able pay bills received in the next three months.
  • The Coronavirus Supplement and the JobKeeper Payment were most commonly used to pay household bills by those receiving the stimulus payments.
  • Of the Australians receiving the JobKeeper Payment, approximately half (48%*) were receiving less income than their usual pay, one third (33%*) were receiving about the same and one in five (20%*) were receiving more.

Change to household finances

The survey asked people if their household finances in the last four weeks had improved, remained the same or worsened due to COVID-19. Two-thirds of Australians (66%) reported their household finances remained unchanged, one in five (19%) felt they had worsened and 16% felt they had improved.

Persons aged 18-64 were more likely than persons aged 65 and over to report that their household finances had worsened due to COVID-19 over the four-week period to mid-June (21% compared with 12%).

Persons aged 18 years and over, change to household finances due to COVID-19, by period
Graph image for persons aged 18 years and over showing change to household finances due to COVID-19, by period
Commonwealth of Australia 2020

The same question on household finances was asked in mid-April when the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was at a peak in Australia. At that time, 14% felt their household finances had improved, 31% felt they had worsened and 55% reported they had stayed the same.

When looking at how responses had changed between the two surveys, the following was found:
  • Of the 14% who reported their household finances had improved in mid-April, the majority (89%) continued to report their household finances had improved or stayed the same in mid-June.
  • Of the third (31%) who reported their household finances had worsened in mid-April, a majority (86%) continued to report their household finances had worsened or stayed the same in mid-June, while 14% said their situation had improved.
  • Of those who had not experienced an immediate impact on their household finances in mid-April (55%), household finances had improved for 11% and worsened for 10% in mid-June.

Ability to raise money for something important within a week

In mid-June, the majority of Australians (88%) reported their household could raise $2,000 for something important within a week. This is an increase compared to mid-April, when four out of five Australians (81%) reported their household could raise $2,000 within a week.

In mid-June, approximately one in 11 Australians (9%) reported their household could raise $500 but not $2,000 for something important within a week, and 3% of Australians reported their household could not raise $500.

Ability to pay bills

One in 14 Australians (7%) aged 18 years and over reported their household was unable to pay one or more selected bills on time over the period mid-May to mid-June due to a shortage of money.

The majority of Australians (94%) aged 18 years and over reported their household expects to be able to pay bills received in the next three months. Nearly 3% of Australians did not expect to be able to pay one or more selected bills received in the next three months and nearly 4% reported they did not know if they would be able to make these payments.

Financial actions

One in seven Australians (14%) reported that their household took one or more financial actions to support basic living expenses during the period mid-May to mid-June.

The most common financial actions taken over mid-May to mid-June were:
  • drawing on accumulated savings or term deposits (8%)
  • reducing home loan payments (2%).

Coronavirus Supplement

From 27 April 2020, the Commonwealth Government paid eligible income support recipients a fortnightly Coronavirus Supplement of $550 along with their usual payments. The Explanatory Notes provide further details of eligible recipients.

Approximately one in thirteen Australians aged 18 years and over (8%) said they were currently receiving the temporary Coronavirus Supplement. Persons aged 18 to 64 were much more likely to report receiving the Coronavirus Supplement than those aged 65 and over (10% compared with 1%).

When broken down by sex:
  • 9% of females reported receiving the Coronavirus Supplement
  • 6% of males reported receiving the Coronavirus Supplement.

People receiving the Coronavirus Supplement most commonly reported using it to pay household bills (81%*).

The following image provides readers with a word cloud, which is a collection of words depicted in different sizes. The bigger and bolder words reflect the more commonly reported uses of the Coronavirus Supplement.

Persons aged 18 years and over, use of Coronavirus Supplement
Word cloud image for persons aged 18 years and over showing the most common uses of the Coronavirus Supplement
Commonwealth of Australia 2020

JobKeeper Payment

The JobKeeper Payment was introduced by the Commonwealth Government as a subsidy to help keep businesses trading and people employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Affected employers and sole traders are able to claim $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee from 30 March 2020. The Explanatory Notes provide further details of eligible recipients.

Approximately one in nine Australians aged 18 years and over (11%) said they are currently receiving the JobKeeper Payment from their employer.

Persons aged 18 to 64 were much more likely to be receiving the JobKeeper Payment than those aged 65 and over (13% compared with 4%).

When broken down by sex:
  • 13% of males reported receiving the JobKeeper Payment
  • 9% of females reported receiving the JobKeeper Payment.

Of the Australians receiving the JobKeeper Payment, approximately half (48%*) were receiving less income than their usual pay, one third (33%*) were receiving about the same and one in five (20%*) were receiving more.
    People receiving the JobKeeper Payment from their employer most commonly reported using it to pay household bills (72%*).

    The following image provides readers with a word cloud. The bigger and bolder words reflect the more common uses of the JobKeeper Payment.

    Persons aged 18 years and over, use of the JobKeeper Payment

    Word cloud image for persons aged 18 years and over showing the most common uses of the Job Keeper Payment


    Commonwealth of Australia 2020