The impact of the covid-19 virus on industrial relations

Ray Markey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The social and economic impact of COVID-19 has extended to industrial relations as a result of major changes to work and the labour market. Immediately after the lockdown began, 15% of the Australian workforce was laid off. Job losses have been unevenly spread, with hospitality experiencing a 33.4% reduction, and arts and recreation services 27%
(ABS 2020a). Those aged under 30 lost jobs at a particularly high rate. However, the official unemployment rate understates loss of work, because of the JobKeeper wage subsidy, reduced labour force participation and the restrictive ABS definition of unemployment: actively looking for work and less than one hour’s work per week. The Reserve Bank estimates that total hours worked fell by 20%, while Treasury estimated unemployment at close to 15% by late May, 2020 (Black 2020a).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Australian Political Economy
Issue number85
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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