Australia’s casual workers hit hard by COVID-19 lockdowns
Casual workers took the worst hit because of Australia’s COVID-19 lockdowns and were eight times more likely to lose work compared to permanent workers, finds a report by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work.
Despite lacking entitlements like paid leave, casual workers were also not being compensated for their work, with median hourly wages 26% lower than full-time staff.
From May to August, there was a loss of 175,000 casual jobs, which represented 72% of all the jobs lost across the labour market. Over the same period, there were 166,000 jobs lost for those working part-time hours, contributing to 68% of job losses, across the categories of casual or permanent workers.
Overall, part-time workers were 4.5 times more likely to lose their jobs than permanent workers. “In every case, the job losses experienced by workers in these insecure positions were highly disproportionate to their share in overall employment,” highlighted the report.
“As a result, the worst employment impacts of the pandemic were experienced by those already in relatively insecure, lower-income circumstances.”