Victoria’s draconian lockdowns are exacerbating the unemployment crisis with Melbourne making up more than half of Australia’s worst-hit postcodes for job losses.
Since August 2, dine-in cafes and restaurants have been banned as an 8pm to 5am curfew was imposed on the Victorian capital.
Melbourne residents were also banned from travelling more than 5km from their home for exercise.
Labor Premier Daniel Andrews’ measures are also destroying the labour market, with Melbourne home to eight of Australia’s 15 worst areas for job losses.
Victoria’s number increased to ten when the Mornington Peninsula on the south-eastern edge of Port Phillip Bay and the state’s north west, along the Murray River, were included.
Melbourne’s inner-city area suffered a 10.3 per cent plunge in the number of jobs between the start of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March and the first week of August, Australian Bureau of Statistics payrolls data showed.
Poorer suburbs with more COVID-19 cases have also been hit economically, with job numbers in Melbourne’s north-west falling by 8.2 per cent as employment in the city’s west dropped by 8.1 per cent.
Job losses were steep right across Melbourne from the inner south (down 8.2 per cent) to the more affluent suburbs in the inner-east and south east, where payroll numbers both fell by 7.6 per cent.
Sydney’s inner-city area had Australia’s second-worst plunge of 8.5 per cent during that five-month period, as white collar professionals continued working from home and no longer needed a cappuccino from a cafe near the office.
New South Wales, which unwound COVID-19 travel restrictions in May, had four areas on the unemployment hot spot list.
Sydney’s upmarket eastern suburbs suffered a seven per cent jobs decline, compared with a 6.8 per cent fall in the city’s inner south-west.
The Richmond-Tweed area of northern NSW, taking in tourist hot spot Byron Bay, suffered a 6.5 per cent decline, as Queensland closed its borders to NSW – potentially depriving the coastal towns of visitors from Brisbane.
CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman said Melbourne’s coronavirus crisis was holding back Australia’s economic recovery.
‘The sooner that COVID cases are contained in that state, the sooner its economy can open up, encouraging more of the broader Australian economy to open up and borders to come down,’ he said.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is expecting the national jobless rate to soar from a 22-year high of 7.5 per cent, in July, to 10.5 per cent by the end of 2020 – a level unseen since early 1994.