Australia has seen another drop in unemployment ahead of the removal of JobKeeper.
Unemployment fell to 6.6 per cent between November and December, according to the latest stats from the ABS. Employment increased by about 50,000 people but remains 88,000 lower in December compared to March.
“Employment finished the year 0.7 per cent below the March level, having fallen 6.7 per cent, or 872,000 people, between March and May,” said ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis.
“Although employment has recovered 90 per cent of the fall from March to May, the recovery in part-time employment has outpaced full-time employment. While part-time employment was higher than March, full-time employment was 1.3 per cent below March. The recovery in hours worked has been slower than the recovery in employment.”
The underemployment rate also decreased to 8.8 per cent, while monthly hours worked increased by 2 million.
The decrease in unemployment comes ahead of the removal of the JobKeeper stimulus in March, with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg relying on the “huge sums” that households have saved as a result of health restrictions and border closures to fund the recovery.
“History will show that as the confidence comes back into the economy after the economic shock that we have received from COVID-19 people will spend that money…some $200 billion that is now on household balance sheets but also business balance sheets, money that was not there in January of last year,” Mr Frydenberg told media.
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