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Unemployment jumps through June

Lachlan Maddock
— 1 minute read

Unemployment rose through June, but the latest data suggests the cloud might have a silver lining.

Unemployment hit 7.4 per cent in June – up from 7.1 per cent in May – as 69,300 Australians lost jobs, leaving 992,300 unemployed. But there was also a 210,800 increase in employment underpinned by a large increase in part-time employment.  

“The easing of COVID-19 restrictions in June saw an extra 280,000 people in the labour force, with more people in employment, and more actively looking and available for work,” said Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS. 

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The latest Treasury forecasts estimate unemployment will rise to around 8 per cent – down from the 10 per cent forecast at the start of the crisis. However, Roy Morgan’s unemployment figures suggest that the unemployment rate could already be as high as 14.5 per cent (2.05 million) with an additional 10.1 per cent (1.41 million) underemployed – potentially necessitating the extension of stimulus measures. 

“As well as the more than 1 million Australians forced out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic there is an even greater cohort, according to the Australian Treasury [of] around 3.5 million working Australians, relying on the JobKeeper wage subsidy due to run out at the end of September,” said Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine. “The LNP [government] must give serious consideration to extending JobKeeper for an additional period as the economy adjusts to a more fragile economic landscape than we have seen for decades.”

 

Unemployment jumps through June
Unemployment jumps through June
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