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Australians increasingly worried about jobs, infection amid coronavirus crisis

(Xinhua)    13:23, May 07, 2020

CANBERRA, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Almost four in 10 Australians believe it is likely that they will be infected with COVID-19, a survey has found, with growing anxiety over job security as well.

In a study published on Thursday, researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) surveyed more than 3,000 Australians on the social, mental, economic and political impacts of the coronavirus crisis.

They found that 40 percent of respondents said they feel that it was either likely or very likely that they will catch COVID-19 in the next six months.

Two thirds said they feel anxious about their own and others' safety.

Co-authors Nicholas Biddle and Matthew Gray said the survey also revealed growing anxiety among Australians over job security.

"Australians' perceived levels of job insecurity are very high. One-in-four employed Australians think it is probable they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months, which is almost twice as high as it has ever been over that period since 2001," Biddle said in a media release.

The government has projected that Australia's unemployment rate will hit 10 percent for the first time since 1994 in the second quarter of 2020.

According to the ANU study, employment rate dropped from 62 percent in February to about 59 percent in April, which means approximately 670,000 Australians lost their jobs.

"This is unprecedented in modern Australian economic history," Gray said.

"If previous periods of high unemployment are any guide, the effect on the young is likely to be felt throughout their working life, and those who leave the labour force when close to retirement age may never return."

"We also found that the total loss to annual household income is 102 billion Australian dollars (65.3 billion U.S. dollars)," he said.

The proportion of Australians who were confident or very confident in the government increased from 27.3 percent in January to 56.6 percent in April.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Liang Jun)

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