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Down and out in Sydney and London

25 March 2020

By Ian Silvera

It’s the drudgery of joblessness that is worst of all. The dole lines, the job applications and the subsequent rejections. It’s a kind of economic curse with monotony as the main misfortune. That discomfort is now being felt by potentially hundreds of thousands of workers as Western businesses have been forced to shutter.

Our colleagues at Newgate Research, who polled 1,000 Australians between 18 and 27 March, found that one in ten of those who were surveyed had lost their job, others feared a potential recession. In the UK pollster YouGov estimated that the unemployment rate could have risen by a staggering 5%. The US, meanwhile, is set to lose six million jobs by the end of the month, according to a dire report from Moody’s Analytics.

The world’s supermarkets, the last bastion of booze and food, are going the other way. Tesco has announced 2,000 news jobs, while Walmart and Amazon are set to recruit 250,000 people between them. Australia’s Woolworths has also reportedly offered jobs to laid-off Qantas workers and rival supermarket Coles has plans to hire 5,000 people. And for those who enjoy a cheeky slice when working from home, pizza delivery firms are on the recruitment drive too.

If you’re still wondering whether a ticket warden can be classed as an ‘essential worker’, they’ve been taken off the streets in one part of the Garden of England, Kent. You we will be pleased to hear that they’re still in full employment – manning Ashford Borough Council’s coronavirus helpline. As the saying states: where Ashford goes, the country hopefully follows quickly after.