New data analysis released by QCOSS shows the impact of COVID-19 on Queenslanders and which groups have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
The COVID-19 Impacts on Queenslanders report found that nearly one in four Queenslanders lost employment or working hours as a result of COVID-19, while 35 per cent of Queenslanders experienced a reduction in their household income.
25 per cent more Queenslanders indicated they had drawn down on their superannuation in comparison to all respondents.
The impacts of COVID-19 across Queensland have not been even, with some people more impacted than others.
Seven key characteristics emerged, which saw an individual at greater risk of negative impact. Those groups included:
1. Precariously employed (casual or part-time employed)
3. Self-employed, a small business owner or business partner
4. Women (aged 18-54 years)
5. Work seekers (unemployed persons and Job Seeker recipients)
6. Young adults (aged 18-24 years); and
7. Temporary migrants.
A person may have more than one of these characteristics – survey data showed 72 per cent of young adults (aged 18-24) were also renters (and 53 per cent of Job Seeker respondents worked on a casual or part-time basis. It is likely that the more characteristics an individual identifies with, the greater the impact they may experience as a result of COVID-19.
QCOSS is calling on the Queensland and federal governments to:
- maintain JobSeeker payments above the poverty line
- invest in a social housing boom to alleviate Queensland’s housing crisis
- invest in energy efficiency and solar for low-income households
- create a Community Sector Resilience Fund so community services can deliver targeted relief on the ground, where it’s needed.
Data analysed in this report was gathered under a project commissioned by The Energy Charter. This project collected 3,019 survey responses nationally, with 671 being located in Queensland. The purpose of this cross-sectional survey was to develop an understanding of changes in customer wellbeing and to gauge their sentiment towards energy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To support the analysis of the Queensland data set from the Energy Charter survey, QCOSS developed an Impact Framework to compare data points across three leading COVID-19 impact areas, including employment, financial wellbeing, and mental health and wellbeing.
With thanks to The Energy Charter, from whom we were able to access the Deloitte administered survey data and work with as part of their #BetterTogether initiatives.