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Young people in the workforce were among those most financially impacted, with half of those aged 14 to 24 now economically vulnerable.
Migrants who have been in Australia less than five years were far more likely to have had their work negatively impacted, compared with longer term migrants and Australian-born.
Good Shepherd’s CEO, Stella Avramopoulos, said the research by Roy Morgan Research offered hard evidence that the most vulnerable were bearing the greatest economic impact of the pandemic.
“These are shocking figures. Two out of five of all working Australians have suffered job losses, cuts to hours and pay or being stood aside. Even worse, those already on average and lower incomes are the most affected.
“Despite the government supports being offered during this pandemic, financial distress is now the most significant welfare issue facing Australia. We need long-term, structural changes to the social welfare safety net, with new service models and cross-sector strategies.
“People are overwhelmed, they are distressed and they often feel stigma and shame. This is a crisis that no one expected, it has hit suddenly and it is out of people’s control.”