Up to 50,000 jobs have been axed or earmarked for cuts across corporate Australia in just days as the coronavirus hits the economy.
The $325bn retail sector, Australia’s second largest employer, is grinding to a halt with restrictions on social gatherings and strip shopping closing down.
In just a few days, as retailers, clubs, pubs and hotels shut their doors more than 17,000 workers have been stood down or have been warned that their jobs are about to disappear with no sign of when they will return.
Yarra Capital Management managing director Dion Hershan has warned the economy is very finely tuned and a hard stop like we were currently experiencing would lead to unprecedented job losses.
“The pace of the downturn and the speed at which companies have responded so far is beyond belief.
“Very few companies can withstand demand hitting an air-pocket for 3-6 months,’’ Mr Hershan told The Australian.
“We will see a large step down in activity levels (GDP) and employment. It’s difficult to time but as COVID-19 comes under control, restrictions will be relaxed and activity will rebound, but will probably remain at recessionary levels. As such employment will snap back but remain well below the prior peak.’’
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