And just like that, we’re back on track.

Hiring in Australian businesses is roaring along, raising hopes that 2021 will see the cohort left jobless by the pandemic move back into work. The number of vacancies being advertised in November 2020 was higher than 12 months earlier in each state except Victoria. And Victoria, despite its battle scars, was down just 3%. The unemployed have reason to hope they can find work as the recovery continues.

This graphic also illustrates the immense power of fiscal policy.  In jurisdictions where the virus never really took hold, and where the loss of tourism and education have been of little relevance, hiring is up as much as 40%. 

Amazing lifts in activity are being seen in Western Australia, Tasmania and SA. It goes to show that even in relatively good times, the government could use a spending splash to take the labour market from so-so to strong.