The definition of unemployment according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics is ‘someone who during a specific period was not employed for one hour or more, is actively seeking work, and is currently available to work’.
Figures from the Bendigo region’s chief executive of Women’s Health Loddon Mallee, Tricia Currie, have clearly shown that women and young people are suffering far higher rates of unemployment since COVID-19 struck the region.
While men’s employment figures have improved, with more men being employed in the region in the last six months, figures around women’s employment have shown a serious decline, more than doubling since January.
The effect this will have on future superannuation for women and young people is troubling. Both women and young people work more often in casual and insecure work. Many more women than men work in hospitality and service industries, many more young people are in a similar position, and these are the most affected by the present situation.
There were 3,000 fewer women in employment in July than in January, while 800 more men were working. Clearly COVID-19 impacts more harshly on women in the caring and hospitality industries and young people in the hospitality industries.
The plea from Ms. Currie is for leaders to redesign systems as part of the recovery from the pandemic, to address and attempt to overcome structural inequalities and strive not to leave anyone behind in the post-COVID-19 world.
Work is so important in the way people define themselves. This pandemic is dehumanising so many who simply cannot find work in the present environment.
Ref: Elspeth Kernebone
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