Staff absent in 22% of businesses due to COVID-19

Media Release

More than one in five (22 per cent) employing businesses had staff who were unavailable to work due to issues related to COVID-19, according to results released today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Head of Industry Statistics, John Shepherd, said: “Large businesses were three times as likely to report these absences (65 per cent) compared to small businesses (20 per cent).”

“For businesses with staff absent, the most common reasons for this were self-isolation or quarantine requirements (82 per cent) and staff having COVID-19 symptoms or illness ( 73 per cent).”

The results showed, almost half of all businesses experienced supply chain disruptions in January 2022 (47 per cent).

“In January 2022, more businesses were impacted by supply chain disruptions compared to April 2021, where 30 per cent of businesses experienced supply chain issues,” Mr Shepherd said.

In January 2022, half of businesses with supply chain disruptions responded by changing ordering processes (50 per cent). The second most common response to the disruptions was for the business to increase the price of their goods or services (42 per cent).

Data was collected between 27 January and 4 February.

Further information is available in Business Conditions and Sentiments (Cat. No. 5676.0.55.003).

Media notes

  • The Business Conditions and Sentiments survey (Survey) was last conducted in June 2021.
  • The first data release from the survey provides insights into the financial resilience of businesses, workforce absences and supply chain impacts.
  • The additional ABS products published to understand the economic impact of COVID-19 can be found on a dedicated page on the ABS website.
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact ABS Media at (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
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