Impacts of COVID-19 on businesses: Victoria in focus

Recent survey data analysed by the National Skills Commission (NSC) shows that businesses across Australia were being impacted by the current outbreak of COVID-19 in Victoria in early July.

The survey data, which the NSC has been collecting from businesses nationally since March 2020, assesses the impacts COVID-19 has, or may have, on the way businesses operate, their staffing decisions and more.

Analysis of information collected leading into and throughout late June and July, when there was a sharp rise in new COVID-19 cases in Victoria, found businesses were becoming increasingly concerned about how another outbreak would impact them.

Not surprisingly, the largest increase in businesses ‘very concerned’ about the impacts of another COVID-19 outbreak occurred in Victoria with 67 per cent of businesses surveyed indicating they were ‘very concerned’ in the two weeks to 10 July, an increase from 32 per cent in the two weeks to 12 June. Businesses from neighbouring states, New South Wales and South Australia, also reported a significant rise in concern about another outbreak.

The outbreak in Victoria has also seen an increase in the number of businesses which had staff stood down, an area that was showing signs of improvement throughout June, in line with the easing of restrictions. However, in the two weeks to 10 July, 24 per cent of businesses in Victoria had staff stood down, compared with 13 per cent nationally. The number of Victorian businesses expecting to decrease staff in the two weeks to 10 July also rose sharply from 1 per cent throughout June to stand at 8 per cent, twice that of Australia.

The National Skills Commission will continue to conduct surveys of businesses across Australia to analyse the impacts of COVID-19. The data from these surveys are providing valuable insights into labour market trends to help Australia navigate the economic recovery.

For more information on the Impacts of COVID-19 on businesses survey, or this report, email RecruitmentAnalysis@skillscommission.gov.au.

Previous editions of this report are available on the Labour Market Information Portal.