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June 30, 2020

New ABS data today confirms that around 670,000 payroll jobs have been lost since the virus outbreak.

The devastation in the job market is being exacerbated by growing uncertainty for businesses and workers about the future of key Government support programs, including JobKeeper, HomeBuilder and JobSeeker.

Thousands of businesses and workers are being held hostage by the Morrison Government’s decision to keep the JobKeeper review secret until after the Eden-Monaro by-election is done and dusted.

Businesses are already laying off workers because of the uncertainty this delay is creating.

Today’s Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia by the ABS shows that since 14 March:
• The Australian economy shed 670,000 payroll jobs, and total wages paid has fallen 6.3 per cent.
• Payrolls jobs for women declined by 6.5 per cent and male payroll jobs decreased by 5.8 per cent.
• Payroll jobs in the accommodation and food services sector decreased by 28.6 per cent and fell by 23.9 per cent in the arts and recreation industries.
• Payroll jobs worked by people aged under 20 decreased by 15.2 per cent.
Some of the hardest-hit industries are those that have disproportionately been excluded from JobKeeper.

The biggest job losses have been concentrated in hospitality and the arts, with young Australians and women hardest hit.

Unemployment is worse than it needs to be, the recession is deeper than necessary, and the recovery will be that much harder because Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg are failing to give workers and businesses certainty about their plans after their September “snapback” deadline.

Having introduced support for the economy too narrowly and too slowly, Australians can't afford for the Government to withdraw that support too quickly or too bluntly.

Vulnerable workers, businesses and communities need and deserve a comprehensive plan to get them through the recovery and alleviate some of the understandable anxiety in the community.

Australians have worked together to combat the virus, but more work must be done by the Morrison Government to ensure the hardest-hit Australians are not left out and left behind in the recovery.