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Buying Aussie Saves Jobs

When Australians finally return to their offices as the Covid curve is flattened, some may discover that their positions have sadly and unexpectedly been made redundant or their hours seriously reduced.

It’s all in the unemployment numbers, which have been swelling alarmingly over the past few months with many economists warning about future declines in employment.

In September,  Australia’s Unemployment rate was 6.9% with 29,500 more people out of work. However the end of the year is now looming with a fresh crop of school leavers - the embattled class of 2020, who will be looking for work, along with newly graduated University students.

This is bad news with Deloitte Access Economics predicting that the unemployment will remain high until 2024, rising to a whopping 8.3 per cent in 2021-22.

Deloitte Access Economics predicting that the unemployment will remain high until 2024, rising to a whopping 8.3 percent in 2021-22.

What experts are calling the “effective” unemployment rate is at 14% in Victoria, losing 1000 jobs a day under the Andrews Government’s controversial lockdown of the city. That’s double the figure in NSW where the Government is credited for its COVID management and 5% higher than even South Australia. Another measurement – payroll jobs – was down 4.4% nationally but a staggering 7.7% in Victoria.

These are particularly gloomy figures especially with the easing of Canberra’s Coronovirus payments early next year.

What to do?

The answer lies in boosting the economy by changing our spending habits to support local industry.

“Buying locally sourced goods helps to stimulate the Australian manufacturing sector and that supply chain impacts on job creation," says Western Sydney University’s Dr Kathy Tannous, a Senior Economics lecturer. The flow-on effect is estimated to be 10 jobs created in other sectors for every one job created in the manufacturing sector."

KPMG’s Chief Economist,  Brendan Rynne agrees. “Buying locally-made provides a broader benefit than just the economic numbers,” he says. "There would be a $30 billion sales boost provided by each household spending an extra $50 weekly on Australian products. It would result in higher wages, profits and tax revenue."

So what do we spend it on?

Luckily this comes at a time when Australia has become a nation of entrepreneurs and proud small business owners, who rely heavily on the country’s natural resources.

The legendary Australian actor may not yet have succumbed to Shibora’s sumptuous Fig Perfume, the Sleepy Time Bath Soak or even the Indian  Lotus & Frangipani Body Scrub but it can only be a matter of time. Meanwhile, Archer is busy exporting to the picky Japanese who love her soaps and her Organic Moisturiser Rose-Hip.

"I absolutely agree that buying local and supporting our businesses results in more employment. Also, more job satisfaction, plus it keeps the money in the area. Once the area is thriving it gives more opportunity for other small businesses to open," she points out.

And there’s Stephen Adamson, who pivoted from working in the theatre to starting men’s underwear brand undicloth®-  when he lost performing arts work in the pandemic. This meant that with a reduced budget, he resorted to doing his own photography and being his own underwear model.

"It makes me so happy that by someone purchasing just one pair of undies from undicloth® , it will have a flow-on effect that filters jobs right across the country,” he says.

And there’s quite a few people involved in Stephen’s production line including a packaging supplier, label printer, cotton twine supplier, fabric knitters, pattern makers, fabric cutters and more right down to the Australian Post workers who send off his orders. 

All this business comes at the perfect time. According to online recruitment specialist, `Seek’, jobs have declined drastically since the same time last year across a range of industries. For example, Accounting job ads had declined by almost 44 percent, legal jobs ads by 43 percent, IT job ads by 38 percent, and sales job ads by 30 percent.

There’s even more sobering Australian Bureau Of Statistics (ABS) figures with 160,000 jobs lost in Hospitality alone between February and August this year and a whopping 300,000 jobs gone in the same period for workers under 35.

So there’s never been a more pertinent time for all of us to try to turn things around by making a conscious choice to Buy Aussie Now.


Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the media


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