Manufacturing Insights from REMPLAN’s COVID-19 Survey

By Scott Baker

Week 4 insights from the REMPLAN Australian Business and Economic Impacts Survey, that commenced on 4th April 2020, are now available and include some very useful insights about the impact on the Manufacturing sector caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic.   

Impact on Revenue and Staffing

Of the ten industry sectors with published responses, and per figure 1 below, Manufacturing industry respondents are reporting a 30.0% drop in revenue and a 17.1% contraction in staffing. Perhaps most interesting that this is a larger revenue decline than Retail trade.

To give context, the manufacturing sector across the eight Local Government Areas in Greater Western Sydney employed 107,819 staff in 2018/19 (Source: A 17.1% reduction in staffing equates to nearly 20,000 people fewer people employed in the sector.

Confidence in Business Viability

Some industries are demonstrating a higher degree of confidence about business viability over the coming year than others. Comparing the sentiments of businesses in manufacturing and professional services, in figure 2 below, confidence in the viability of professional service businesses is maintained at a relatively high level. By comparison, the confidence of businesses in manufacturing begins to decline notably at every three month interval.

This is concerning as manufacturers make up the largest employer group by industry sector in both Fairfield & Cumberland LGA and provide almost 108,000 jobs across Greater Western Sydney. The data is indicating that on account of COVID-19, around 50% of manufacturers are not confident in their businesses remaining viable in the next 12 months. 

We call  upon Government to balance the health of Australian citizens with the easing of restrictions so that manufacturers can regain confidence and local industry can take the lead in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

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