Half a million Australian jobs are at risk as the financial toll caused by the coronavirus outbreak sets in.
Cabinet ministers have been warned the total number of unemployed Australians could rise above one million in the coming weeks and months.
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That would mean hundreds of thousands of people would be laid-off.
It’s due to a downturn consumer spending.
The worst-affected industries have been tourism, hospitality and airlines.
Professor Peter Whiteford from the Australian National University said the impact could be immense.
“We’re talking about a very large proportion of the workforce who are potentially affected,” he said.
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One possible solution would be redirecting laid-off workers into sectors where demand is increased because of the virus.
Those include the health sector and supermarkets.