While the national economy has seen a remarkable rebound from Covid, Victoria is still feeling the lingering effects of its massive 112-day lockdown.
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The job recovery in Victoria continues to lag the rest of Australia and is around half the national average.
Although all states and territories in Australia now offer more jobs than they did before the pandemic, the gains in Victoria have been far less than interstate ones, where long lockdowns have largely been avoided.
The latest update from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that 1.9 percent more employees were registered on a payroll in Victoria in mid-June than in mid-March last year.
But the increase in paying agents in Victoria is well below the national increase of 3.4 percent over the same period.
It’s also a far cry from the 3.9 percent gain in Queensland and the 5 percent gain in South Australia.
The number of jobs in New South Wales rose 3.4 percent from mid-March 2020 to mid-June, the ABS numbers show.
Australia registered its first Covid death in early March last year and entered its first lockdown period late this month.
AMP Capital’s chief economist Shane Oliver said while the national economy has seen a remarkable rebound from Covid, it is clear that Victoria is feeling the ongoing effects of its massive 112-day lockdown.
“Victoria is lagging behind, and I suspect a big reason is the lockdown in the September quarter of last year,” said Dr. Oliver.
“Lockdowns have hurt the Victorian economy more – the longer you stay in lockdown, the more businesses close.”
Dr. Oliver said that while the country’s economic recovery is leading the world, a “patchy” economy has emerged, with some sectors booming while others like hospitality and tourism are struggling.
The number of jobs in Victoria rose 0.4 percent in the two weeks ending June 19 as lockdown restrictions expired, according to the employment figures released by ABS on Tuesday.
MASK RULES FOLLOWED IN VICTORIAN OFFICES
Masks are no longer required in offices and the crowds are increasing as part of a further relaxation of restrictions announced this week.
As part of the changes, confirmed by high-level government sources, workers will be able to remove their masks in offices, with health officials confident that the QR codes and personnel lists could be used to track contacts in the event of an outbreak.
Viewership, which was supposed to rise to 85 percent of capacity last week, will be increased to 75 percent.
SYDNEY LOCK EXTENDED
The Sydney lockdown is extended by seven days to July 16, with children being forced to study from home next week as health officials scramble to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.
Victoria Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said he doesn’t expect Sydney’s red zone status to be downgraded “anytime soon” after NSW recorded 18 new cases – including 11 people isolated for their infection phase – on Tuesday were. The decision was made by Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian late in the evening at a meeting of the government’s crisis cabinet.
The plan is for the current lockdown in the greater Sydney area, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour to be extended until July 16 at 11:59 p.m. In all other parts of NSW, the current restrictions remain in place.
UNDER 40 YEARS OLD GET A FREE CHOICE WHEN THE DOSE INCREASES
Younger Australians are expected to receive a selection of Covid-19 vaccines once additional supplies and new options become available from September.
While the AstraZeneca vaccine is now available to all adults, Pfizer’s limited supply means it has been prioritized for certain groups.
Vaccine initiation chief Lt. Gen. John Frewen said Tuesday he expected adults under 40 to be vaccinated with vaccinations other than AstraZeneca from September or October and they would likely be able to choose their preferred vaccination.
In September, Pfizer’s weekly deliveries from Victoria are expected to increase to up to 317,000 cans, while approximately 30,000 cans of Moderna will also be part of the launch, rising to up to 148,000 cans in the final quarter of the year.
“If we have enough of both, I think this could be a time when we can give individuals more choice,” said General Frewen.
He said he “had no opinion” on whether Moderna – a Pfizer-like mRNA vaccine – would be used as a booster or part of the first wave of vaccinations.