Tracking wellbeing outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic (August 2021): Lockdown blues

Tracking wellbeing outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic (August 2021): Lockdown blues
Wednesday 15 September 2021

The aim of this paper is to summarise economic and social wellbeing data from the August 2021 ANUpoll, the eighth in the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods Impact Monitoring Survey program. Since April 2021 there have been declines in life satisfaction, worsening in psychological distress and an increase in loneliness across Australia. The worsening of outcomes has been greater in New South Wales, and particularly Sydney.

At the national level there was little change in average hours worked between April 2021 and August 2021 and there was an increase in average household income. The positive economic outcomes between April and August 2021 measured at the notional level were not consistent across Australia with a large decline in hours worked in Sydney, with the rest of Australia having better economic outcomes in August 2021 than they did in April 2021.

Australians are less likely to be satisfied with the direction of the country than at any time during the pandemic. They are also less confident in the Federal government and State/Territory governments. Australians are more likely to think that their life had gotten worse, were more likely to say that they felt more negative about the future than they were in May 2020, were more stressed, and more likely to say that the relationships had become more difficult/strained.

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