Botha, Ferdi de New, John P. de New, Sonja C. Ribar, David C. Salamanca, Nicolás
Year of Publication:
GLO Discussion Paper 661
Using an online survey of Australian residents, we elicit the potential impacts of COVID-19 related labour market shocks on a validated measure of financial wellbeing. Experiencing a reduction in hours and earnings, entering into unemployment or having to file for unemployment benefits during the pandemic are strongly and significantly associated with decreases in financial wellbeing of 29% or 18 points on the financial wellbeing scale of 0-100, despite various government measures to reduce such effects. Unconditional quantile regression analyses indicate that the negative COVID-19 labour market effects are felt the most by people in the lowest percentiles of the financial wellbeing distribution. Counterfactual distribution regressions indicate a shifting of the financial wellbeing distribution leftwards brought on by those suffering any of the above-mentioned labour market shocks, indicating potential significant increases in financial wellbeing disadvantage and inequality.