Australia's gyms are relying on JobKeeper to survive coronavirus lockdowns.
Australia's gyms are relying on JobKeeper to survive coronavirus lockdowns.

31,500 jobs: $3b fitness industry at risk of collapse

NINE out of ten businesses in Australia's $3 billion fitness industry are relying on the government's lifesaving JobKeeper payment to survive.

Damning research into the health of the industry by peak body Fitness Australia has revealed 93 per cent of businesses are relying on JobKeeper to stay afloat and keep 31,500 people employed.

The research found, without JobKeeper, more than 60 per cent of businesses, sole traders and individuals would collapse within one month and 86.8 per cent in three months.

Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said the report laid bare the impact of COVID-19 and the salvation provided by JobKeeper for businesses and exercise professionals.

"As a result of COVID-19, the sector has already faced, and will continue to face, unprecedented challenges," he said.

"The introduction of JobKeeper has allowed many in the industry to stay employed, while ensuring continued access to important services for the broader community.

"Australia's fitness industry plays a critical role for the Australian economy as a source of jobs, investment, spend and innovation. It also positively impacts individual's physical and mental health, consequently supporting greater productivity and happiness across the nation."

The research

93.4 per cent of fitness businesses rely on JobKeeper to stay afloat

95.9 per cent have seen more than 20 per cent decrease in revenue

72.9 per cent reported more than 40 per cent decrease in revenue

76.6 per cent per cent have lost more than 30 per cent of their members

71.39 per cent of sole traders and personal trainers lost more than half of their clients

Mr Elvish said the government's continuation of JobKeeper would support a stronger Australia, fiscally, mentally and physically.

"Supporting Australia's fitness industry by extending JobKeeper will ensure the sector can continue to be a key employer to support thousands of Australians with jobs; while supporting the broader population with improved physical and mental health outcomes," he said.