Philip Lowe: COVID-19, the labour market and public sector balance sheets

Address by Mr Philip Lowe, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, to the Anika Foundation, Online, 21 July 2020.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
03 August 2020

I would like to thank you for your support of the Anika Foundation. The pandemic that we are all living through is traumatic for our entire community. Young people are no exception, with many anxious about their future job prospects and suffering from a loss of social connectivity. This means that the work of the Foundation is as important as ever. Thank you for your support.

In this year's Anika Foundation talk, I would like to discuss two topics.

The first is the impact of the pandemic on Australia's labour market. And the second is the important role that public sector balance sheets are playing in softening the economic downturn and in building the bridge to the recovery.

The Labour Market

I wanted to start with the labour market because for many people, the economic costs of the pandemic really hit home when they, or somebody they know, lost their job or their hours were cut.