Pandemic continues to put workers at risk of poverty

The research report covers April 2020 to June 2021 (Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand)

New Good Shepherd research commissioned for Anti-Poverty Week 2021 has revealed that more than a third of all working Australians continued to be negatively financially affected in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research covering April 2020 to June 2021 shows 2021 figures with only a marginal drop (34 per cent) from 2020 (41 per cent), showing that the pandemic has now had a continued impact putting Australians at risk of poverty.

Good Shepherd ANZ CEO Stella Avramopoulos says the 2021 figures are consistent with the anecdotal evidence reported by frontline workers.

“Sadly, this research confirms that the pandemic impacts of 2020 have continued to put more Australians at risk of poverty than ever before in 2021,” Ms Avramopoulos said.

“It was hoped that the numbers would drop dramatically after the 2020 spike, but the emergence of the ‘newly vulnerable’ cohort in 2020 has grown at a similar rate in 2021. We are concerned that this effect may be entrenched for some time yet, exposing more to the issues that Anti-Poverty Week annually highlights.

“Good Shepherd is helping stabilise vulnerable people’s finances through No Interest Loans and other programs, but it’s now apparent that we are dealing with long-term impact cases.”

“Many people who have never dealt with these issues before are at risk of slipping into long- term poverty, and this is exposing the weaknesses in the service navigation systems which many are struggling to access.”

More than half (2.65 million) of those 4.7 million Australians whose employment was negatively impacted were already on low incomes. This group includes an over representation of recently arrived people, women, young people, unskilled or semi-skilled workers, and sole traders/small business owners.


Anti-Poverty Week research reveals a third of all working Australians continue to risk poverty due to pandemic (Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand)

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