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As Australia surveys the labour market wreckage of almost two months of pandemic-inspired physical isolation, several orthodoxies have emerged about the way we will work when the restrictions are eventually lifted.

One, based partly on a history that illustrates many jobs lost in big downturns never reappear, is that Australia faces entrenched unemployment upwards of 10% for at least half a decade. Another is that some sort of “new normal” will emerge whereby vast sections of workers will continue to carry out employment from home.

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