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COVID-19 impacts on Australian households

Released
20/04/2020

Results from the first ABS Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey show that in the first week of April, around 12% of Australians aged 18 and over with a job were working more hours than usual due to COVID-19, and around 24% were working less hours.

“The survey found that the proportion of people who had a job fell by 3 percentage points between early March and early April” said Michelle Marquardt, ABS Program Manager for Household Surveys.

“The majority of Australians are adhering to public health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 with 98 per cent practicing social distancing and 88 per cent avoiding public spaces and events. We also found that one in six Australians are wearing a facemask (17%) as one of their preventative measures.

Whilst the findings show that Australians are taking a range of precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, two-thirds (68 per cent) still remain concerned or very concerned about their health due to the spread of COVID-19.

Already 2.2 million Australians aged 18 and over have had a flu vaccination this year with another 12.2 million intending to be vaccinated. However, 4.9 million do not intend to have a flu vaccination this year”.

The survey also showed that 52 per cent of Australians aged 18 and over changed or cancelled their travel plans in March due to COVID-19.

The ABS would like to thank those Australian households that contributed to these survey results. The ABS plans to release additional information about the experiences and impacts with COVID-19 on these households’ over the next few months.

Further information can be found in Households Impacts of COVID-19 (cat. no. 4940.0).

Media notes

When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.

For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).

The information in this release about people’s job situation is not directly comparable to the official measures of Australia’s labour force. Respondents were asked simple questions about changes to their job situation, rather than the full suite of employment-related questions included in the ABS’ Labour Force Survey (see Questionnaires Used in the Labour Force Survey, cat. no. 6232.0). More information about measuring the labour market impacts of COVID-19 can be found here.