The economy is emerging from the pandemic but it’s markedly transformed, as businesses and consumers struggle to adapt to a new landscape with fewer workers, new innovations and a range of ongoing area quarantines and lockdowns.
In June 2019, the Australian unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, inflation was tame, wages were flat and companies were still attempting to recover from the GFC hangover.
Unemployment is currently an incredulous 5.1 per cent, even with airlines at 10 per cent production and Melbourne’s CBD looks like a small business graveyard.
The ABS figures are produced by an antique methodology that has not morphed with the radical workforce changes in the last 20 years.
It’s a fact that many people are having to work two jobs and because international workers have left, the workforce has shrunk (making the unemployment figure seem good).
The economic landscape s compared to two years ago is very different.
Housing is scarce and house prices are booming. There is a great dislocation between millions of unemployed workers and millions of vacant jobs.
There’s dispute about how many of these changes are temporary and how many are permanent.
One thing I know is the use of algorithms in recruitment will continue to rise. Candidates will be short-listed by ‘robots’.
Nearly a quarter of workers are likely to work at least a day or two from home each week, the McKinsey Global Institute predicts. And e-commerce, which grew three times faster last year than in prior years, shows few signs of ebbing.