Covid Impacts For School Planners

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Covid Impacts For School Planners in Australia | Education Geographics

Covid Impacts For School Planners

Category:Education Tags : 

Using available data from late 2021, the Education Geographics team calculated post-Covid spatial estimates from 2020 to 2031 on total population, pre-schoolers and school-aged children.

Our preliminary EGS population modelling indicates that the big winners from Covid impacts on total Australian population growth have been the four SA4 ABS statistical regions making up the state of Tasmania, along with four regions within a two-hour commute of the Melbourne CBD: Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and La Trobe-Gippsland. (See the purple SA4 regions in our attached map).

Click Map to Zoom

Covid Impacts For School Planners Using available data from late 2021, the Education Geographics team calculated post-covid spatial estimates from 2020 to 2031 on total population, pre-schoolers and school-aged children.

It seems that the big Covid lockdown of Tasmania worked a treat to boost Tasmania’s modest but stable, pre-Covid state annual growth rate, from about 0.5 percent up to 0.7 percent between 2020 and 2031, with most of the gains coming in Hobart.

And it seemed that some Melbourne residents wanting a relatively safe work-from-home retreat still wanted the option of a convenient weekly commute to meetings in the CBD. If this wasn’t needed, well, they just moved to South East Queensland.

And the big losers? Take your pick of pretty much any capital city CBD across the nation, with greater Sydney a very sad sea of red on our attached map of Covid population impacts. No wonder the NSW Government are lobbying to crank up migration numbers.

As far as the other capitals went, those most adversely impacted after Sydney were, In diminishing order, the ABS regions of Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and then Adelaide.

By way of benchmarks, we anticipate that the annual pre-Covid national growth rate of 1.6 percent will drop to an annual average of about 1.0 percent out to 2031.

In terms of total Australian population, this translates to a predicted post-Covid figure of 28.5 million, compared to a pre-Covid figure of 30.3 million, a drop of 1.8 million persons, due to Covid impacts.

When it comes to pre-schoolers aged 0-4 years, the national predicted pre-Covid figure of 1.9 million could drop by 340,000 to 1.56 million, with the biggest losses experienced in the suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney

For school children aged 5 to 17 years, the expected national pre-Covid population could drop by more than half a million students, from 4.8 million to 4.3 million. At 25 kids per class, that’s enough kids to fill more than 20,000 classrooms that we’d expected to see by 2031, but now we don’t.

Where these gaps in previous forecasts are likely to be concentrated is fundamental to planning decisions over the next decade.

All EGS client schools will have this pre-Covid and post-Covid information for total population, pre-schoolers and school children projected as a summary onto their major catchments.

In addition, on request, EGS qualified professionals will be able to access EGS fine-grained data for school planning projects, such as a new campus, or for commercial expansion plans for a pre-Covid growth area.

Planning before Covid

Before Covid hit our shores in late 2019, population forecasts for urban planners were pretty straightforward.

After the detailed data had been published from the 2016 Census, projections were prepared for the Australian Government Department of Health by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. These projections reflected assumptions made about future fertility, mortality and migration trends.

It was all very official and credible and was produced down to relatively fine grained SA2 levels of about 10,000 persons and extensively used by schools, developers, big business and urban planners at all levels of Government and across the private sector.

The Health Department data was considered so reliable, you could take it to the bank and many investors did just that.

And then along came Covid in late 2019 and made all prior population forecasts redundant.

National borders were closed, many foreign students already here departed our shores, potential students and skilled workers were locked out, businesses were shut down for months at a time, working from home became the norm, CBDs were deserted and families began to drift outwards from Melbourne and Sydney into the regions and then interstate.

The December 2021 data from the ABS for mid-2021 showed Victoria lost so many overseas migrants and interstate migrants that the state was de-populating over the previous year. For planners counting on future population growth to underpin investments, this is genuinely scary stuff. https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/national-state-and-territory-population/jun-2021

Queensland was the biggest winner in terms of gaining these interstate migrants from both New South Wales and Victoria, with anecdotal evidence inferring most gains were in the outlying coastal regions of South East Queensland and possibly northern NSW.

In early January 2022, we were in fact about to fine tune our forecasts to take these latest ABS figures into account, but ballooning omicron numbers by then had pretty much spoiled that sense of post-vaccination optimism.

We will monitor developments over the next months for the expected peak and fade of omicron and the possible arrival of new Covid variants. When we have more substantial evidence of sustainable trends, we will re-visit our forecasts.

We have a way to go yet with this virus, unfortunately, and with the evolving impact it is having on our total population numbers and spatial growth patterns across the nation.


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School Leaders: No time for complacency

Category:Education Tags : 

In late 2021, Australia appears headed for a strong economic recovery, but underlying structural problems mean this is no time for complacency among school leaders about future demand for Non-Government school places in 2022 and beyond.

As outlined in the Australian Financial Review today (December 2, 2021) Economics Editor John Kehoe warns the current publicly-funded economic boom is putting way too many layers of magenta-coloured lipstick on an economy hamstrung by an archaic tax system, mounting pressures on welfare and defence spending and a fossil fuel exporting economy in a world edging ever closer to a renewable-dependent energy mix.

At Education Geographics, we’ve been lucky to secure the mentorship of distinguished Australian Economist Saul Eslake during 2021, to present monthly webinars to our EGS school leaders on the impact of Covid on the repeated Covid cycles of lockdown, economic downturn and subsequent recovery.

We’ve also taken advantage of the outstanding job done by our Australian Bureau of Statistics on mass payroll data from taxpayers and our own team of statistical modelers, to inform EGS schools on how Covid has directly impacted jobs in their school catchments and show EGS school leaders which industry groups of parents have been impacted and how many of them enrol their children across their school’s top enrolment streets.

This short video with the EGS leadership team and Broadcaster Steve Austin explains some of the background issues for schools and illustrates how EGS has provided data on Covid impacts on jobs in their local suburbs.

John Black – Founder & Executive Chairman – Education Geographics

 


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Tales of flyfishing, foraging and fungi by John Black and a lovely story from Sage, via the adventures of Bri Dostie, a Maine Flyfishing Guide

Tales of Fly Fishing, Foraging and Fungi

Category:Recreational Research Tags : 

On October 27, 2020, the Australian Government announced fully-vaccinated Australians could travel overseas without first having to seek permission from the Department of Home Affairs. The next practical hurdle for overseas travel will be reciprocal quarantine-free arrivals in other countries, via vaccinated-only travel lanes, with Singapore apparently now head of the queue for Australians.

Hopefully, the same quarantine-free travel will apply mid-way through next year for Australians heading to British Columbia, where our family Flyfishing and adventure holiday has been booked – and deferred –  for each of the past two years.

As I type, my beloved is in her nearby home office now, filling out the passport renewal forms for our kids by hand, after the Australian Governments’ automated passport renewal form decided (part-way between the first and second child’s form) that it no longer recognised our address, where I’ve lived for 40 years. We just hope the Commonwealth Government does better with the software needed for quarantine-free travel than it has with its Covid-safe software to date. Enough said on that one.

Before you read the Flyfishing story below, can I just reinforce the warning in there about the potential danger of wild foraged mushrooms? Don’t eat them unless you’ve been trained to recognise the subtle difference between a tasty morsel and a deadly fungus. My Dad had a doctorate in plant physiology and he used to take us wild mushroom foraging as kids, across the old diary paddocks dotting the Dulong Hills on the Sunshine Coast hinterland. And it was all great fun, getting up really early with Dad and heading off for long walks with his big plastic bucket, which we’d all help Dad to fill before we headed home and grilled the mushrooms for breakfast.

Dad should perhaps have paid more attention to the mushrooms we dropped in the bucket.

I recall one morning at Nambour Primary School when the blackboard and teacher began swirling across the front of the front of the classroom in paisley shapes and assorted shades of orange and purple. It was a magic morning for this little guy. And then came the rushing paramedics, the ambulance ride, the old rubber hose and the stomach pump, before the entire Black family were finally whisked away to share a big ward at the old Nambour Hospital.

It took Dad a fair while to live that one down at the local Rotary Club dinners and it put me off eating mushrooms for decades.

So, back to our lovely little picture story from Sage, via the adventures of Bri Dostie, a Maine Flyfishing Guide. It’s a tale of backwoods flyfishing and foraging which was no doubt enjoyed by all participants, except the two stocked trout which ended up on the menu.

Our story starts with Bri as a little girl, flyfishing with her Mum and her Grandfather.
🔗 https://www.sageflyfish.com/experience/sage-blog/fish-and-forage

Tales of flyfishing, foraging and fungi by John Black and a lovely story from Sage, via the adventures of Bri Dostie, a Maine Flyfishing Guide

Tales of flyfishing, foraging and fungi by John Black and a lovely story from Sage, via the adventures of Bri Dostie, a Maine Flyfishing Guide


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Allan Shaw, School Whisperer, Farewell to the best job in the world

Allan Shaw, School Whisperer – Farewell to the best job in the world

Category:Education

Leading a school is the best job in the world, bringing together professional staff and parents to build a community around children and young people.

But occasionally you have some of the worst days imaginable. It is difficult to be physically confronted by a student who you know has hurt one of their own parents recently or to gather a group of students to explain that one of their peers has taken their own life.

The challenges I have faced in schools have helped form who I am. The people I have met and worked with have enriched my life. In return, I have influenced the lives of thousands of children and young people (hopefully, positively) across a school leadership career of more than 20 years.

My career in school education started in 1979 with a posting to a secondary technical school in the far northern suburbs of Melbourne as an art teacher. I still have vivid recollections of my very first lesson.

More than four decades later, my career as a school principal has concluded. I worked as teacher and school leader across three states and territories and across all three sectors of school education: government, Catholic and independent schools. Each school has its own culture and context. Each has allowed, encouraged or insisted I learn and adapt.

Working in schools is intellectually, emotionally, and socially demanding. It is also incredibly rewarding to meet adults who I first knew as children or teenagers. Even the naughtiest have turned into decent people. Many have gone on to make significant contributions to their communities, in ways that I could not imagine at the time I knew them in school. In that sense, the rewards of teaching are palpable. I take no credit for the successes of these students but I have had the privilege of a small influence on their growth and development.

The needs of students have become much more complex over the last 15 years. As young people enter a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, they need additional skills. The development of strong literacy and numeracy skills, and a solid knowledge base must be complemented by the development of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills, an ethical character and the capacity to make positive contributions.

We must acknowledge the important role the adults in schools play in the development of the young. We must invest in developing the capacity of these people, to invest in our young people. The teacher in the room with your child is second only to you, their parents, in their influence on your children.

I wish I was 20 years younger and able to be more involved in these exciting challenges in schools. I am not, and thus I hand over to a new generation.

Allan Shaw is the recently retired principal of The Knox School.

Story printed in The Age – September 16, 2021


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Covid Vax Map Update - Health Geographics Dr Jeanine McMullan has mapped, the distribution of those Australian 15 years and above.

Vacination Map Update as at September 13, 2021

Category:Health Tags : 

The Australian Department of Health is now publishing regular updates showing vaccination rates as a percentage of those 15 years and above, presented by Australian Bureau of Statistics SA3s.

In the public interest, the CEO of Health Geographics Dr Jeanine McMullan has mapped, via the following link, the distribution of those Australian 15 years and above with one jab, two jabs and one jab minus two jabs. These updates will be uploaded to this map link as they become available, beginning with September 6, 2021.

It was felt that those Australians with one jab, awaiting a second jab, were more likely to represent recent vaccination trends, as eligibility criteria has recently extended to younger groups and a broader range of priority groups and this in turn has been heavily influenced by recent Covid outbreaks in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT.

There are 335 SA3s in Australia, with an average of about 60,000 persons aged 15 plus years.

Smaller SA3s in remote or regional Australia contain about 10,000 persons 15 plus years. The larger SA3s include the inner cities of Sydney and Melbourne containing up to a quarter of a million persons 15 years and over. They provide a reasonable picture of a significant health event now taking place across the nation.

The Esri map https://arcg.is/1DeX1H0 can be opened and managed on virtually all devices, including PCs, Tables and Mobile Phones.

 

Covid Vax Map Update 9-9-2021

 

 


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Vaccination Rates by Age and Jabs by Family Income by Health Geographics

Profile of Australian Regional Vaccination Rates, as at August 28, 2021

Category:Health Tags : 

By John Black, Chairman of ADS

So many readers enjoyed the online Covid Vax maps from Health Geographics CEO Dr Jeanine McMullan at https://arcg.is/1DeX1H0 that we decided to publish a short descriptive profile of the map data, with some relevant comments for those apparently in charge of the roll out.

Introduction. Those shown in the SA3 maps with both their first and second jabs against Covid as at August 28, included the old and the rich, the traditional Coalition voters, along with their Green-voting neighbours in wealthy inner-urban regions. These two demographics dominated the Melbourne seats which also swung heavily to Federal ALP candidates in 2019.

Those with neither jab were dominated by younger and lower income Working Families, living in the middle burbs, and the Digitally Disrupted, including the longer-term unemployed, living in lower SES outer suburbs and provincial cities, two groups which deserted the ALP in 2019 and returned Scott Morrison to the Lodge.

However, with recent Covid Delta outbreaks in NSW, where vaccination has become virtually compulsory for many NSW residents, there has been a significant recent rise in the numbers of demographics with first jabs only and this has come across wider age and income groups, making the roll-out more egalitarian and focused on classic Swinging Voters, home-buying families with kids.

Process

To get some reasonably reliable demographic profiles of vaccination rates, we took Australian Government Health Department vaccination rates by SA3 as at August 28, for those 15 years and older with one and two jabs and then we controlled for outlying state and regional anomalies, driven up by Covid outbreaks in New South Wales and held back by roll out road blocks in outback regions.

We had to control for outbreaks because it is becoming blindingly obvious that Covid vaccination rates are being driven up among mainstream demographics by Covid Delta outbreaks, which, sooner or later, will impact most harshly on the low-vax states of Western Australia and Queensland.

Profile of the Fully Vaccinated with Two Jabs

The profiling tells us that Covid outbreaks weren’t needed to drive strong vaccination rates among the elderly and the better-educated rich, especially those retirees living off private super funds, who tend to have private health insurance and spend an awful lot of money on their health needs at their Family Doctor, their dentist, their optometrist or their physio.

The better-off elderly persons with Senior Health Care cards were near top of the list.

This group became eligible because their age and vulnerability to Covid Alpha prioritized them in the vaccine queue. And, because older voters typically support the Coalition, those vaccinated as at August 28 voted for the Coalition in 2016, but a bit less so in 2019, when this older and richer demographic drifted to the ALP, especially in Melbourne’s Goat Cheese Circle.

Culturally, we found fully vaccinated regions contained more migrants from wealthier countries, such as Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and Japan.

A lack of faith featured prominently here, with the big Green-voting group of Agnostics top of the list for those trusting in the science and getting access to the rollout.

Vaccination Rates by Age and Jabs by Family Income by Health Geographics

Those least likely

Those least likely to be fully vaccinated were dominated by those in the bottom income quartile, mainly those on some form of transfer payment, other than the big group of those on the aged pension.

They were joined by the big blue-collar groups of less qualified low-wage earners working as labourers, plant and machinery operators or as transport and logistical workers, which is causing the current delivery chain chaos in western Sydney.

We also found certificate-qualified, average-income earners in receipt of Family Tax subsidies, working as Tradies, service workers or sales workers, often in mining or manufacturing industries.

Migrant groups strongly represented across regions with low vaccination rates were dominated by the big group of Kiwis, along with those born in Vietnam and Pakistan and followers of Islam or Sikhs.

Across these under-vaccinated groups, we came across many of those belonging to the smaller, evangelical Christian faiths, the sort who elected Kevin Rudd in 2007 and re-elected Scott Morrison in 2019 across a wide range of outer-suburban or regional seats in Queensland and NSW.

These include Christians not fully defined, along with smaller groups of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and Pentecostals, all of which lined up behind Scott Morrison in 2019.

Again, more narrowcast social media networks could have played a part here with evangelicals, as mainstream Christian faiths were not significant markers for the unvaccinated. These included Catholics, Anglicans, Uniting, Presbyterians and Lutherans.

Jabs by Family Income

Profile of those with time only for One Jab

Those with one jab only represent persons who have recently qualified to join the queue by virtue of age, location or some other criteria, such as state mandates, as well as those more strongly motivated by recent outbreaks in NSW and Victoria to become fully vaccinated.

Given the delay between the first and second jab there’s going to be some overlap between these groups, but looking at the difference between the two rates tells us something about these groups that a competent Government could find useful.

We will keep an eye on these trends, but all that we could glean so far is that the updated eligibility demographics for those aged 40 and above and a widening range of selected groups aged 39 years and below seem to have democratised the vaccine roll out considerably.

Whereas before the vaccine was mainly for the old and the rich, it is now being taken up more by mainstream Australians: low- and middle-income blue-collar families, paying off their own separate home, with two or three kids at public schools and a couple of cars in the garage enabling commutes to two jobs. We’re talking Swinging Voters here folks and they want their kids safely back at school, with teachers and students – starting with high school students – vaccinated.

Even in the last week, we’re also seeing signs of those overlapping working-class demographics dominating western Sydney, shown in darker green on Dr McMullan’s online map: Transport Workers, Clerks, the Unemployed, Arabic-Speaking families, parents of kids at Government schools, migrants from Fiji the Philippines, Lebanon and Pakistan, followers of Islam.

What we are now seeing are glimpses of what could have happened in Australia, if we’d purchased enough supplies of vaccines when we had the chance, allied to a roll-out becoming open to all wanting to be vaccinated. As my favourite Covid statistician, the ABC’s Casey Briggs would say: who’d have thought?

The lessons your humble correspondent – with no pretensions to expert status on covid – would draw from the evidence here, are that the Government should focus pro-vax campaigns on less well-educated persons, blue collar workers and their unions, along with non-English-speaking migrants and those with time on their hands to waste on social media fruitcakes.

Prosecution of a coherent and consistent case from the Coalition Government would be a good start. A bit of old-fashioned national leadership on a policy framework for mandating vaccinations for key workers would help too. And the sort of ticker we saw from John Howard when he fronted up to a crowd of angry gun nuts wearing a bulletproof vest to argue for gun control.

 

John Black has pioneered demographic and political profiling in Australia since the early 1970s and is a former Labor senator for Queensland. He is Executive Chairman of profiling company Australian Development Strategies and the relevant vax map can be found at https://arcg.is/1DeX1H0

 


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Vaccination Maps

Category:Health Tags : 

Vaccination Maps

In the public interest, the CEO of Health Geographics Dr Jeanine McMullan has mapped via the following link, the distribution of those 15 and above with one jab, two jabs and one jab minus two jabs. It was felt that those with one jab, awaiting a second jab, were more likely to represent recent trends, as eligibility criteria has recently extended to younger groups and a broader range of priority groups and this in turn has been heavily influenced by recent Covid outbreaks in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT.

Click for more information.

The Australian Department of Health on August 28 published data showing vaccination rates as a percentage of those 15 years and above, presented by ABS SA3s.

There are 335 SA3s in Australia, with an average of about 60,000 persons aged 15 plus.

Smaller SA3s in remote or regional Australia contain about 10,000 persons 15 plus years. The larger SA3s include the inner cities of Sydney and Melbourne containing up to a quarter of a million persons 15 and over. They provide a reasonable picture of a significant health event now taking place across the nation.

The Esri map can be opened and managed on virtually all devices, including PCs, Tables and Mobile Phones.


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Flyfishing - Lockdown Daydreaming | Freshwater Fly Fishermen

Lockdown Daydreaming

Category:Recreational Research Tags : 

During the long months of overlapping Covid lockdowns across all Australian states and the international lockdown to international travel, which is now stretching into years, one of the pleasures we freshwater fly fishermen living in the sub tropics miss the most is the opportunity to travel to some of the more beautiful places on the planet in our own region and overseas.  These short breaks can restore our spirits for the rest of the working year and, while nature is nourishing our inner selves, they also provide the opportunity to cast a long fly line to rising trout on pristine inland waters. I miss it so much.

These newsletters from Sage allow us the opportunity to experience these forbidden pleasures through the eyes of others, if not ourselves and hopefully provide you, as well as me, some hope for the future. They cheer me and I hope they do the same for you. There’s lot more of them in the Recreational Research section.

 

Read more… Long Days And Long Hikes In British Columbia – Sage Fly Fish

 

Flyfishing - Lockdown Daydreaming | Freshwater Fly Fishermen


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So far, so good. But what happens when we check out the profile of the 20 to 25 percent of jobs which come late to the party?

Big Data Improves with Age

Category:Labour Market Tags : 

 

When it comes to their new Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages series, the ABS this week agreed with our ADS post of October 6, 2020: Newer isn’t always better (reproduced below.)

With their latest payroll data release this week, the ABS announced it would extend the time between the final payroll period and the release date, by around 9 days. The ABS says this will improve the quality of estimates, through reducing the level of imputation (by more than half) and revisions in the most recent weeks of data.

For our explanation from last October, you can read our original post below.

Newer isn’t always Better – Covid Jobs update from John Black, CEO of Education Geographics, October 6, 2020.

A week or so back we provided a profile of how the broader Australian stereotypes were faring under Covid jobs lockdowns and today we’re urging a bit of caution when it comes to rushing to judgement on the latest payroll stats – because newer isn’t always better.

Although they don’t quite put it like this, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and I both agree the payroll stats are like a fine bottle of red … you’re well advised to let them age a little after opening, before taking the first sip and rushing to judgement.

The official explanation is contained in the recent ABS release on the weekly payroll data for the week ending September 5, where you can see a section called data limitations and revisions. You can find the technical explanations through this link.

https://www.abs.gov.au/methodologies/weekly-payroll-jobs-and-wages-australia-methodology/week-ending-5-september-2020#data-limitations-and-revisions

In this section, the bureau stressed that they were trying to help policy makers during these extraordinary times, by releasing data as close as possible to the period when the activity occurred and then make the data as accurate as possible over time, but incorporating new data when it was received.

This means that the latest data is only about 75 percent to 80 percent complete and can take several months to be fully complete and so the final figures look a lot more attractive after ageing than they do when they’re brand new, as you can see below. Even two weeks of waiting can add one point to the index number for the same release.

Covid Jobs update from John Black, CEO of Education Geographics, October 6, 2020.

So far, so good. But what happens when we check out the profile of the 20 to 25 percent of jobs which come late to the party? Let’s check out our two Stereotype Charts for August 8, with the top one based on the original data and the second one also showing the revised data in yellow bars.

So far, so good. But what happens when we check out the profile of the 20 to 25 percent of jobs which come late to the party?

 

 

Suburban Stereotypes - So far, so good. But what happens when we check out the profile of the 20 to 25 percent of jobs which come late to the party?

 

The central thrust of the original data profiles shows the big urban and provincial city Working Families and the younger and more aspirational, outer suburban Swinging Voters both faring relatively well from the impact of the Covid jobs lockdown. By relatively well, we mean relative to a (non-Victorian) Australian average jobs loss of about three percent from mid-March to August 8.

When we take a close look at the changes in index numbers for individual occupations and the suburb profiles for where they tend to live, we see that the industries which tend to improve after revision include the better-paid ones we often find in the Goat Cheese Circle inner suburbs, such as professional consulting, finance, media and real estate.

This means our maps for the loss of jobs across inner suburbs tend to look a lot greener after a month or so, after new employer data has been reported from those employers reporting less frequently than every week.

So, until the ABS has amassed enough single touch payroll data over a few years of relatively stable labour markets, to make regular seasonal adjustments, treat the latest weekly data releases with caution, as the revised data a month or so older, is often more accurate.

Just like an old vine Barossa Shiraz, big data often improves with ageing.

Next update, we’ll take a look at the impact of the Federal Budget on those industries most impacted by jobs lockdowns.
Talk to you then.


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Rubbery Jobs Figures by John Black, I had a little piece in The Australian today on some of the modelling and mapping work we’ve been doing recently at Education Geographics, mostly for schools.

Rubbery Jobs Figures

Category:Labour Market Tags : 

I had a little piece in The Australian today on some of the modelling and mapping work we’ve been doing recently at Education Geographics, mostly for schools. Australian subscribers can find the link here: https://tinyurl.com/283vk8cy

Distinguished Australian Economist Saul Eslake estimates that closing our international borders to tourists and international students is costing us about $22 billion a year in export income in the medium to longer term, but it’s made the recovery in our unemployment rate look much more dramatic, because it’s sucked out a large slice of the growth in the labour market and left the stimulus focussed on relatively few potential workers.

The problem for the Commonwealth Government now is that it’s been relying on lazy growth to boost GDP for so long, that when it closed our international borders last March, it had no cards left to play, as GDP growth dived into negative territory.

So, the Government and our central bank resorted to expansionary fiscal and monetary policies which basically involved spraying billions into the economy to boost demand in a labour market which had just lost a major source of its recent growth – net overseas migrants and international students in particular.

When we worked out some spatial models for future post-Covid population growth and projected these down to suburb levels, we found the biggest impacts from the border closures were in the suburbs surrounding many of our existing universities, presumably the ones which had been most successful at attracting overseas students. You can see our online national map on these demographic potholes at https://tinyurl.com/hswp2938 )

And then, when we modelled and mapped the new ABS payroll jobs data down to suburbs, we saw a significant loss of jobs since March 2020, were in many of the same heavily impacted University catchments, presumably due to a cut in international students also driving a big spatial drop in demand for things like student accommodation and food and of course, demand for University staff.

So, closing international borders and turning off the supply of international students has reduced both the supply of labour near these Universities and also the demand for labour, shrinking spatial economies significantly. To fix these spatial problems we need a fully vaccinated population, safe quarantine facilities and a progressive re-opening of international movement of visitors and students.