What is the Job Impact of These Intermittent Lockdowns?

Here in Australia, we find ourselves going on and off lockdown as COVID-19 cases rise and fall. The good news is that we have not yet been faced with the prospect of a sizeable, long lasting lockdown, as cases do tend to decrease after the lockdowns – especially when combined with vaccinations.

What we know from the first lockdown in March of last year, however, is that every time there is a lockdown there is an economic consequence.  So one of the questions on many people’s minds is the following:

How do these lockdowns affect the job market? We can actually answer this using the Rover data system. We can look at how job openings seem to rise and fall after these intermittent lockdowns. What we see is the following chart, where each dotted line represents a lockdown, and each solid line represents the lockdown being over.



As you can see, during lockdowns there is a change in the way the number of jobs that are posted and filled. We can also see a small change in the types of jobs:



Here, the change is a bit more noticeable, which makes sense since some industries are going to take lockdowns harder than others, though all positions seem to stagnate slightly after a lockdown occurs.

What you may also notice, however, is that as lockdowns end, the positions open right back up again – sometimes in very high amounts. Look at some of the steep lines in the jobs posted data of the chart above. What we can see from this is that, while it is true that the lockdowns do tend to cause a lull in the number of jobs posted, it doesn’t seem to be long lasting or have any long term effects, at least in terms of the willingness of employers to hire new staff.

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