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(Image: AAP/Dan Peled)

To listen to Donald Trump or Josh Frydenberg one would think that COVID-19 causes widespread permanent job losses. It doesn't.

Gross mismanagement of the pandemic or of the economy -- or both -- has caused permanent job losses, or at least severe long-term hardship for workers. We know this from observing countries affected by the pandemic which have kept their economies running and job levels steady.


Austria’s jobless rate was 8.5% last December, before the pandemic devastated Europe. It rose for a few months then recovered. It was 8.4% in September -- Austria employs 23,800 more people now than last December. Belgium’s jobless rate was 5.2% last December. It rose for a few months then settled, and was 5.1% in August.