Young and older Australians have suffered the largest drop in per person household income from February to August 2020. There is also a further sign of the impact on the middle part of the education distribution which had bigger declines than those with higher levels of education.
Income for young Australians dropped by around $95 a week more than for those aged 35-44 between February and August 2020.
Those with an undergraduate degree had around $80 a week more income between February and August.
Fewer than one in five (19%) of those surveyed think it is difficult to live on their current income in August 2020.
The August figure is well below the February figure of 27% of Australians who found it difficult to live on their current income.
|Variable description||By February income decile
1. $0 to $24,554 ($0 to $472 weekly)
2. More than $24,554 to $38,896 (more than $472 to $748 weekly)
3. More than $38,896 to $52,884 (more than $748 to $1,017 weekly)
4. More than $52,884 to $69,524 (more than $1,017 to $1,337 weekly)
5. More than $69,524 to $88,452 (more than $1,337 to $1,701 weekly)
6. More than $88,452 to $109,304 (more than $1,701 to $2,102 weekly)
7. More than $109,304 to $134,784 (more than $2,102 to $2,592 weekly)
8. More than $134,784 to $168,688 (more than $2,592 to $3,244 weekly)
9. More than $168,688 to $222,300 (more than $3,244 to $4,275 weekly)
10. More than $222,300 (more than $4,275 weekly)
|Variable time span||February 2020 - August 2020|
|Published by||ANU Poll|
Despite significant increases in hours worked since April 2020, there have been no improvements in income for Australian households. It may be that this is the result of the Jobkeeper payment which, along with other increased payments, has been lifting incomes for the low paid but also keeping income steady while work hours go up.
Both younger and older Australians had larger drops in their per person household incomes between February and August 2020. Young Australians income fell by around $95 a week more than for those aged 35-44. For older Australians the drop was $87 for those aged 65-74 and $62 for those aged 75 and older.
There is building evidence that, when it comes to levels of education, the COVID-19 recession is also a middle education recession affecting those who completed Year 12 but didn't go to university more than those who didn't complete Year 12 or those who have a degree. When it comes to income, those with relatively high levels of education had a smaller decline in income than those who had completed Year 12 only. Income in August for those with a postgraduate degree was higher by $75 a week, and higher by 80$ a week for those with an undergraduate degree.
There is a continuous decline in the proportion of Australians who think it is difficult or very difficult to live on their current income. In February 2020, 26.7 per cent felt it was difficult to live on their current income. That fell to 22.8 per cent in April, and 21.7 per cent in May. By August, only 18.7 per cent thought it was difficult to live on their current income. It is likely that the decline is due to those at the bottom part of the income distribution experiencing an increase or only a small decline in their income, along with having fewer opportunities to spend money during the COVID-19 pandemic.