Tracking wellbeing outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic (April 2021): Continued social and economic recovery and resilience

Tracking wellbeing outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic (April 2021): Continued social and economic recovery and resilience
Sunday 9 May 2021

The aim of this paper is to summarise economic and social wellbeing data from the April 2021 ANUpoll, the seventh in the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods Impact Monitoring Survey program. We find remarkable levels of resilience in Australian society and the economy, with life satisfaction back to what it was prior to the pandemic, and psychological distress at lower levels. Employment rates and average hours worked are not quite back to what they were pre-pandemic, but appear to have not been overly impacted by the removal of JobSeeker and JobKeeper at the end of March. There are still some ongoing areas of policy concern, with a number of Australians fearful of losing their job in the next 12 months, average household income is still well below the pre-COVID levels (and below those observed in November 2020), there are high rates of housing stress and key population groups remaining particularly impacted. Specifically, young Australians continue to have worse mental health outcomes than they did prior to the pandemic, and also are more likely to feel that they are struggling with housing expenses. Nonetheless, as long as infection rates and community transition remains low, Australia seems to be weathering the COVID-19 storm far better than most comparable countries.

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