Asylum-seekers hit hard by pandemic recession

The coronavirus-related job losses for temporary protection visa holders are worst in the hotel and food-services sectors (Bigstock)

A new report commissioned by the Refugee Council of Australia suggests that 19,000 refugees and asylum-seekers will lose their job as a result of the pandemic-fuelled recession. Source: SBS News.

Many of those will be excluded from government support payments such as JobSeeker.

The report, which modelled its numbers using one local government area in Sydney as a case study, found the unemployment rate among asylum-seekers and refugees could more than double from 19.3 per cent to 41.8 per cent.

It also found that without a safety net, homelessness among the group could increase by 12 per cent.

Rebecca Eckard, director of policy and research at the Refugee Council of Australia, said the resulting homelessness alone would cost state and territory governments over $180 million a year.

Ms Eckard said the Government had acknowledged that people on temporary visas were in need of support by providing one-off emergency payments, but that it wasn’t enough to last.

The report estimates that out of the total population of refugees and asylum-seekers on temporary visas, about 61,662 people employed before the coronavirus recession, ABC News reports.

“Based on these estimates, at least 18,807 refugees and asylum-seekers on temporary visas are projected to lose their jobs in the coronavirus recession,” the council's report said.

The coronavirus-related job and income losses for temporary humanitarian migrants is worst in the accommodation and food-services sector. The report suggests that pre-COVID, this sector employed 11,394 people, but post the crisis it will dive to 4,501 – a loss of 6,893 jobs.


Almost 20,000 refugees could lose their jobs in Australia. This mother-of-two is one of them (By Jarni Blakkarly, SBS News)

Coronavirus recession puts thousands of refugees and asylum seekers at risk of job loss, homelessness (ABC News)


Australia’s borders are shut, so where does that leave refugees? (Pro Bono News)

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