Despite signs of recovery, there are challenges to reclaim many of the activities that support wellbeing, economic security and economic growth. The normalisation of sectors such as arts and culture, tourism, hospitality, sports and events will underpin social connections. The needs of younger people will require a focus on jobs and training, the needs of older people and other vulnerable people will require a focus on health and community services for the aged.
Minimising the negative effects of the pandemic will be critical in supporting the wellbeing of the people of Greater Sydney.
The temporary and permanent closure of businesses, the loss of jobs and the number of people receiving the JobKeeper Payment are having wide-ranging impacts. The impacts are being felt by some groups more severely than others (refer to Figure 1).
There are higher rates of workplace casualisation and, consequently, much higher rates of unemployment and underemployment among people aged under 25, as young people are more likely to work in sectors such as hospitality that are more exposed to the pandemic.
Greater Sydney’s youth unemployment rate rose to 11.7 per cent in August 2020 compared with 9.5 per cent per cent a year earlier37, and already much higher than the overall average. Young people also have less money saved, on average, making them less prepared for sudden changes or emergencies.