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The (surprising) numbers are in: Australian rentals, real estate facing greatest staff shortages

More than one in five of all employing businesses are facing insufficient staff numbers due to COVID-19, according to recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

When analysed by industry, it was rentals, hiring, and real estate services that topped the list at 36 per cent, a considerable increase from 14 per cent in June 2021.

Almost 30 per cent of administrative and support services reported insufficient staff, followed by food and accommodation services (26 per cent).

Surprisingly, the industries to report the lowest shortages were retail trade (7 per cent), health care and social assistance (6 per cent) and financial and insurance services (6 per cent).

When asked what factors played a role, over 40 per cent of businesses cited international border closures and a third of businesses cited domestic border closures. 

Supply chain issues

It was also found that 47 per cent of all Australian businesses are experiencing supply chain disruptions.

Of the more than 1,000 businesses surveyed, 36 per cent reported being affected ‘to a great extent’ with major delays and significant impact on revenue. Over 60 per cent were affected ‘to a small extent’ with some delays but little impact on revenue.

The ABS findings indicate small businesses were much more likely to be greatly affected by supply chain disruptions, compared to medium or large businesses.

When asked how they adapted to these disruptions, 86 per cent of businesses reported making at least one modification. At least half of businesses changed their ordering processes and 42 per cent increased the price of goods and services in January 2022.

Other responses included changing the number of suppliers (36 per cent), changing suppliers (29 per cent), and changing the way products or services are provided to customers (35 per cent).

READ MORE: Free RSA courses expected to ease NSW’s hospitality staff shortages

The (surprising) numbers are in: Australian rentals, real estate facing greatest staff shortages
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

What else can businesses do to avoid supply disruptions?

  • By keeping track of your inventory, you’ll be able to stay ahead of stock orders and won’t be caught off guard by sudden demand for popular items.
  • Take a step back and analyse how effective your supply chain management is in practice. Could certain automation tools assist in improving planning and execution?
  • Stay informed about the latest developments in your location or industry. Are new economic policies expected to be announced? Will there be a drastic change in weather conditions that could affect deliveries?
  • If possible, increase your inventory. You can do this by stocking up on discounted items, expanding your storage space, or even seeking additional financing.

READ MORE: Supply chain chaos? How businesses can build resilience

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Rhea Laxmi Nath

Rhea Laxmi Nath

Rhea L Nath is a Sydney-based writer and editor. In 2022, she was named Young Journalist of the Year at the NSW Premier's Multicultural Communications Awards.

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