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Confidence low amongst Australian professionals as COVID-19 crisis takes hold

By Shannon Williams
Wed 22 Apr 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

New data released by LinkedIn has revealed Australian professionals have little confidence in regard to their finances, workplace and overall sense of opportunity in the current COVID-19 climate.

The LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index looks at data collected for the period of April 1 to April 7. It found confidence is low amongst Australian professionals who are anxious about finances, job prospects and career security. 

The Australian insights showed that of the people polled confidence was +8 on a scale from -100 to +100, with positive sentiment just outweighing the negative.
 
The research found Australians are investing time in self-improvement, including increasing time spent searching for a new job, spending more time finessing resumes and online profiles and taking part in online learning.
 
The nature of workplaces have shifted dramatically due to COVID-19 and will likely experience lasting change as a consequence, the data shows. Many more workplaces will adopt working from home and flexible work cultures moving forwards. 
 
According to the index, 44% of survey respondents said they’ll increase time spent in online learning over the next two weeks, and a quarter (25%) of respondents said they plan to also spend more time working on their resumes and online profiles. 
 
Sixty six percent of respondents say they are being provided with the opportunity to work remotely, with 63% confident they will continue to be offered those opportunities in the future.

The research found 52% of Australians have reduced their personal spending during the crisis, with that number rising to 63% for the self-employed. Moreover, 36% of Australians report a drop in income and wages.

With the Australian unemployment rate expected to reach 10% — or 1.4 million out of work — amid the coronavirus pandemic, job seekers are concerned about the future, the index says.

Sixty five percent of respondents said they expect the number of available roles to decrease over the next two weeks, while 55% think responses from recruiters will also fall during that time.

Overall, 27% of everyone surveyed across Australia said they plan to increase time spent looking for work over the next two weeks.

Part-time employees were less confident than their full-time counterparts when it comes to job security and career in the long-term — tellingly, 28% of part-time workers say they will spend time searching for a new job in the next two weeks, but 68% are pessimistic about receiving a response from recruiters.

The research revealed Australians are investing time in self-improvement, including increasing time spent searching for a new job, spending more time finessing resumes and online profiles and taking part in online learning.

Twenty seven percent of everyone surveyed across Australia said they plan to increase the time spent looking for work over the next two weeks. A quarter (25%) of respondents said they plan to also spend more time working on their resumes and online profiles, while 44% said they’ll increase time spent in online learning over the next two weeks

Online learning was particularly popular amongst the self-employed, active job seekers and enterprise employees.

The index showed employees are currently being supported by workplaces with remote working and believe it will continue to transform corporate structures moving forwards. However, it’s essential for businesses to continually check in on remote employee’s emotional wellbeing, LinkedIn says.

Fewer than half of respondents believe they are being offered support for their emotional wellbeing, and just 15% of those say they are taking advantage of the support on offer.

Meanwhile, a third of respondents say they are being provided with the opportunity to work part-time or flexible hours, though only 15% of those are taking advantage of the flexibility.

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