Labour force figures released last week by the ABS show an increase in the unemployment rate to 6.2 per cent. More than 594,000 fewer Australians were in jobs in April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Importantly, whilst Treasury modelling now forecasts unemployment to peak at around 10 per cent, the Morrison Government’s $320 billion support package including the $130 billion JobKeeper payment has meant we will avoid a significantly higher unemployment rate of around 15 per cent.
It is important to note that Australia entered this crisis from a position of economic strength and record employment which has allowed the Government to introduce support measures that compare favourably with the rest of the world.
Temporary and targeted, the support measures are not designed to go on forever but to build a bridge to the recovery phase. The Government is now focussed on getting a million Australians back to work and we will continue to work collaboratively with the health experts and our State and Territory counterparts, in order to reopen and keep open a COVID-19 Safe Australian economy.
Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
Senator for Western Australia