Recently published figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have shown that the working hours across Australia dropped by nearly 9 percent during the month of January as unemployment continued to remain steady.
The figures from the ABS Bureau of Statistics figures, also revealed that Australians worked a combined total of 159 million less hours in January 2022 when compared to the hours worked in December 2021.
These figures are seasonally adjusted, so already account for the high amount of annual leave workers usually take in January. Furthermore, unlike January last year when hours worked fell 4.9 percent, this year’s plunge in work was not mainly due to more workers taking holidays.
“While we again saw higher than usual numbers of people taking annual leave even more so than last year the 8.8 per cent fall in hours worked in January 2022 also reflected much higher than usual numbers of people on sick leave,” says Bjorn Jarvis the head of labour statistics at the ABS.
“Nationally, and in New South Wales and Victoria, the number of people who worked reduced hours because they were sick was around three times the pre-pandemic average for January. In other states and territories, it was twice as many people. Western Australia was the only jurisdiction with a usual low number of people working reduced hours in January because they were sick,” continued Mr. Jarvis.
Unlike the normal patterns of sick leave, the number of people missing at least a whole week of work due to illness was more than four times the pre-pandemic average perhaps not surprising given the obligation to isolate for seven days or longer.
“January is the middle of summer and usually only around 90,000 to 100,000 people in Australia are away from work sick for an entire week. In January 2022, it was around 450,000 people 3.4 percent of employed people. The January 2022 figures are also much higher than in the winter months in Australia, when sick leave has usually peaked in August at around 140,000 to 170,000 people,” says Bjorn Jarvis.
The decrease in seasonally adjusted hours work was the greatest in New South Wales and Victoria 13.5 percent and 13.2 percent respectively where Omicron was most predominant during this period of time.
Western Australia was the only part of Australia where hours worked increased, increasing by 1.7 percent across the state.
Despite working hours dropping, close to 13,000 new jobs were added last month and the unemployment rate remained at 4.2 per cent, with labour force participation still near record highs.
Australian Businesses Are Offering Employees Massive Incentives to Combat The Great Resignation
Millions of Australian workers are preparing to quit their jobs in the upcoming months. To try and entice workers from quitting, employers are making an effort to offer a number of incentives to cry and convince their workers to stay.
One Australian organisation offer $6,000 to all of their 200 employees to spend on anything they want in order to prevent a mass exodus of employees as the Great Resignation looms in Australia.
The Great Resignation has been occurring in America with everyone from frontline workers to senior executives quitting their jobs as people seek out flexibility, work that aligns with their values and companies that treat them as humans.
Linktree is a social media start-up that has the backing of billionaire Afterpay co-founder Nick Molnar, is offering an annual $6000 reward for staff to spend across four pillars, including wellness, personal growth, lifestyle and impact.
Linktree is working in a fiercely competitive space for employees with a crippling shortage in the industry, as Deloitte Access Economics estimates Australia will need to upskill an extra 200,000 tech workers over the next few years.
A Linktree employee named Hannah has said that she is very impressed with the rewards program and she describes the $6,000 incentive as a “pay rise but with more intention”.
She plans to spend the money on personal growth courses that will help her with her well being and also spend the money on a gym membership and massages.
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