About this issue
This publication presents results from the Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, a longitudinal survey which collects information from the same panel each month. The January 2021 survey was run between 18 and 31 January 2021 via online forms and telephone interviews. The survey included 3,004 continuing participants, a response rate of 88% of the sample.
The January 2021 survey collected information on:
- actions taken to manage health
- health precautions
- comfort with social gatherings
- changes in spending
- use of stimulus payments
- household financial stress and actions
- training and development of skills
- changes to job status.
The scope of the survey was people aged 18 years and over in private dwellings across Australia (excluding very remote areas).
About this collection
This survey is designed to provide a quick snapshot of the changing social and economic situation for Australian households with particular focus on how they are faring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each cycle collects information on different topics.
From August 2020, the survey introduced a new panel of respondents but kept a similar design to the eight fortnightly surveys conducted from 1 April to 10 July 2020. The results for all past publications can be accessed by selecting ‘View all releases’ in the header of this publication.
Some topics have been repeated in both the fortnightly and monthly surveys. Where relevant, comparisons are made based on the weighted representative data for both surveys. The monthly survey gathered information via online forms and telephone interviews. The previous fortnightly survey was collected via the telephone only. This change in survey methodology means that comparing topics across the two survey iterations should be treated with caution.
Proportions marked with an asterisk (*) have a Margin of Error (MoE) >10 percentage points which should be considered when using this information. For more information about MoEs refer to the publication Methodology.
COVID-19 pandemic progress and interventions
From 18 to 31 January 2021, when this survey was conducted, all newly acquired cases in Australia were from overseas and managed through hotel quarantine. Only one local transmission was recorded in Western Australia on the final day of interviews.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, initiatives in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and support the economy included:
- ongoing international travel restrictions
- border control measures for some states and territories
- two economic stimulus packages (12 March and 22 March 2020)
- a safety net package of $1.1 billion to expand mental health and Telehealth services, increase domestic violence services and provide more emergency food relief (29 March 2020)
- stimulus payments including:
- a Coronavirus Supplement paid fortnightly from 27 April 2020 to eligible income support recipients along with their usual payments (reduced in September 2020 and January 2021, and extended until March 2021)
- a JobKeeper Payment passed in legislation on 15 April 2020 and paid to employers to keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the COVID-19 restrictions (reduced to include two tiers in September 2020 and January 2021, and extended until March 2021)
- various restrictions, including shutting down non-essential services, limits on gatherings and social distancing rules from March 2020
- a guided easing of these restrictions in many states and territories using the National Cabinet agreed three step framework introduced in early May 2020.
At the time of the survey, all states and territories had eased most restrictions although a number of locations had introduced short and sharp lockdowns to manage local transmissions when required. None of these lockdowns occurred while this survey was being conducted.