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Sky-High Airfares Hit Australia’s Labor Recovery, Minister Says

  • Some restaurants, cafes unable to open for lack of workers
  • Minister rules out subsidizing airfares for working travelers
Travel demand has skyrocketed as countries scrapped border restrictions, taking many airlines by surprise. 

Travel demand has skyrocketed as countries scrapped border restrictions, taking many airlines by surprise. 

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

The high cost of global travel right now is fueling Australia’s worker shortage, the country’s trade minister said, with the jobs market the tightest it’s been in almost 50 years as the Covid crisis eases.

Pre-pandemic, foreign students and young travelers filled a key role in the Australian labor force, working in restaurants and other service-sector jobs, Trade and Tourism Minister Don Farrell said in an interview with Bloomberg News in Los Angeles, on the sidelines of a meeting of Indo-Pacific trade ministers on Friday.