Media Releases

5.6 MILLION PEOPLE WORKING FEWER HOURS IN APRIL

May 21, 2020

with
BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SCIENCE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR GORTON

New Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data today provides a detailed breakdown of the challenges facing the Australian labour market.

The data reflects a devastated labour market with increases in unemployment and underemployment and decreases in employment to population and participation across all areas.

Today’s detailed Labour Force figures by the ABS show:

  • 5.6 million people worked fewer hours in April compared to March.
  • Almost four times as many people than in March attributed their drop in hours to ‘no work, not enough work available, or stood down’.
  • Those who worked fewer hours because they ‘began, left or lost a job’ jumped nine-fold.
  • Unemployment increased across all capital cities and most other areas.
  • The employment to population ratio fell in all areas, with the largest fall seen in Sydney.
    With the labour market in turmoil, 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.

The Government needs to outline its plan to support Australians post September when JobKeeper and JobSeeker is due to end.

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 for many.

Too many Australians are left out and left behind, some accidentally but many deliberately.

Support could be better targeted, or tapered, but it shouldn’t just “snap back” on an arbitrary timeline which doesn’t reflect the reality in workplaces and communities.

The Morrison Government doesn’t have a genuine plan for jobs as we move from responding to the immediate crisis into the long and patchy recovery phase.

Australian workers, businesses, and the community need the Treasurer to stop recycling old media releases and anti-worker biases and instead outline the Morrison Government’s plan for the post-virus economic recovery.

THURSDAY, 21 MAY 2020

WE'LL PUT PEOPLE FIRST