Last night’s Federal Budget announcement has left Australians with a broad impression of the government’s plan for economic recovery but few clues as to how job seekers over the age of 35 position themselves for the COVID-adjusted employment market. We do know that stimulating business is central to this plan and that infrastructure has turned out to be of secondary importance.
Significantly, businesses have been granted a range of tax cuts and incentives aimed at encouraging them to employ more people (the JobMaker Hiring Credit) and purchase more capital assets (‘temporary full expensing’). This probably means things will be running as COVID-usual for the next few months, with the flow-on effects of the stimulus package starting to take firmer shape early next year. At prompting from journalist Laura Tingle, however, the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has also conceded that some businesses will ‘go to the wall’ once JobKeeper payments cease. Indeed, the budget has been partly informed by the estimate that the unemployment rate will peak at 8 per cent between now and the end of the year, though it is expected this will drop back down to 6 per cent by 2022-23.
For many of us it’s going to be a rocky ride and, until a clearer picture comes into view, preparing adequately will prove something of a challenge. We can still make some preparations, though. If you are currently in work, you are uniquely positioned to know the likelihood your organisation and, more specifically your position, will still exist after March next year. Use this knowledge to your advantage. If you are currently looking for work, you will have a rough idea of how your industry is faring by the amount of positions that have either been closed or made available over the course of this year. If you suspect your industry is flailing, consider how your skillset and experience may effectively translate to other sectors and roles. Seek can be a useful guide here: entering one or two of your core competencies into the ‘Search’ field can throw up some surprising, and valuable, results.
The most important thing is to not give up because almost anything can happen. Who last year thought that a stockpile of fabric remnants would be the makings of a flourishing reusable facemask business? Not me, for one. If this year has taught us anything, it is that nothing can be taken for granted, and that can have positive implications too.
To be continued