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Read all the latest news from Brendan O'Connor MP


May 19, 2020

New ABS data today confirms that around 730,000 payroll jobs have been lost since the outbreak of Coronavirus, including further job losses over the past two weeks.
While job losses and wages growth would have been worse without the wage subsidies called for by Labor, the Morrison Government’s botched rollout meant that this support arrived too late or not at all.
Too many Australians are left out and left behind, some accidentally but many deliberately.
Since the outbreak of the virus, the biggest job losses have been concentrated in hospitality and the arts, with young Australians hardest hit.
Today’s Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia by the ABS found that in the seven weeks to 2 May, before barely any JobKeeper payments were made available:

  • Payroll jobs decreased by 7.3 per cent while total wages paid decreased by 5.4 per cent; 
  • Over 1-in-4 payroll jobs in accommodation and food services disappeared, and almost 1-in-5 payroll jobs in arts and recreation services has disappeared; and
  • Payroll jobs worked by under-20s fell by almost 15 per cent.

With 2.6 million Australians looking for work or for more work, it is difficult to imagine how these people will “snap back” to employment when the worst of this economic crisis passes, with the RBA, IMF, the Commonwealth Treasury, and private sector forecasters expecting unemployment to rise and persist for some time.
Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg have refused to listen to hard-hit Australian workers and businesses who are either ineligible for JobKeeper or still face uncertainty about their eligibility.
When unemployment spikes in the next few months remember hundreds of thousands of job losses could have been prevented by the Treasurer.
Labor wants to see more workers maintain a connection with their employer – that has been our goal since day one of this crisis.
JobKeeper could be better targeted, or tapered, but it shouldn’t just snap back on the last Monday in September.