The Australian Labour Market Update informs people interested in working in Australia on a temporary or permanent basis. This January 2021 update shows that from March to November 2020 employment fell by 137,700.
The initial labour market impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was more pronounced for migrants than the Australian born. However, migrants in Australia have vastly different labour market outcomes, depending on their skill level, age, English proficiency, recent and relevant work experience, and the period since their arrival in Australia.
From May to November 2020, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points for migrants from countries whose main language is English, compared to a fall of 1.6 percentage points for migrants from countries whose main language is not English.
For all migrants and Australian-born people, employment fell between March and May 2020. Employment then rebounded between May and November 2020 for all groups, except for people born in Sub-Saharan Africa, for whom employment fell slightly by 0.5% since March 2020.
Between March and November, the largest rise in unemployment rates was for those born in North Africa and the Middle East (up by 2.3 percentage points), followed by those born in North-East Asia (1.7 percentage points).
Migrants who arrived in Australia in the past 5 years experienced the greatest initial impact of COVID-19. For this group, the unemployment rate increased by 7.1 percentage points and employment fell by 17.1% between March and May 2020. However, this group also recovered quickly, with the number employed rising sharply (by 16.7%) between May and November 2020.
For migrants who arrived in Australia more than five years ago and for Australian-born people, the rise in unemployment was noticeably smaller than for migrants who arrived more recently, ranging between 0.4 and 1.3 percentage points between March and November 2020. For those who arrived in Australia more than 10 years ago, falls in employment were generally smaller.
People considering migrating to Australia may consider reviewing the Department of Home Affairs website to gain information about visa programs and COVID-19 migration measures announced by the Australian Government.
Queries on the Australian Labour Market Update publication, including requests for copies of previous Hot Topics, should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the full Australian Labour Market Update – January 2021.