Worrying LGAs suffered the biggest job losses during the lockdown

Shane Oliver, AMP’s chief economist, said the high proportion of workers in western and southwestern Sydney with jobs that couldn’t be done at home, such as hospitality, retail and construction, contributed to job losses in those areas.

“These kinds of jobs tended to suffer more,” he said. “In other parts of Sydney, especially in the north and east, there are more white collar workers who could just move to work from home.”

There has also been a sharp deterioration in women’s employment rates in Sydney’s districts subject to the most severe lockdowns. Hardest hit was the Inner South West, where the proportion of women over 15 in employment plummeted from 58.6 percent in June to 47.7 percent in October, the lowest in more than a decade.


The malaise is part of a decline in female employment rate statewide during the lockdown. One of the factors driving this trend has been major job losses in female-dominated sectors hard hit by pandemic constraints such as retail and hospitality. Some women also withdrew from paid work during the lockdown due to additional domestic care tasks, especially online education.

But dr. Oliver said he expected a strong job recovery in Sydney now that pandemic restrictions have been eased.

Analysis by stockbroker CommSec shows that employment in Sydney’s Inner South West fell by 50,200 between the start of the pandemic in February 2020 and October 2021, the biggest drop in Australia for those kinds of statistical districts (referred to as SA4 by the ABS). The Inner South West lost 16.5 percent of its jobs during that period.

CommSec chief economist Craig James attributed the major job decline in the area to job losses in the hospitality and manufacturing industries.

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