Media Releases

835,000 Australians Left Behind in This Recession

June 18, 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 labour force data today has revealed the horrific impact of the recession on hundreds of thousands of Australian workers with 835,000 jobs lost since the worst of the virus hit.
 
Hundreds of thousands of Australians are in danger of being left out and left behind by the Morrison Government’s botched roll-out of the JobKeeper program and mixed messaging on the future of payments like JobSeeker.
 
With the labour market in turmoil, it is difficult to imagine how these Australians will “snap back” to work by the Prime Minister’s September deadline, with the RBA, IMF, the Commonwealth Treasury, and private sector forecasters expecting high unemployment to persist for some time.
 
The ABS highlighted that the unemployment rate would be as high as 11.3 per cent had  623,600 people not dropped out of the labour force.
 
Today’s detailed Labour Force figures by the ABS show:

  • The unemployment rate surged to 7.1 per cent, the highest since 2001;
  • 835,000 workers have lost their jobs since March;
  • 927,600 Australians are unemployed, the most since 1993.
  • Underemployment remains alarmingly high at 13.1 per cent;
  • 2.6 million people are looking for work or for more work;
  • The participation rate fell again to 62.9 per cent; and
  • Women and younger workers continue to bear the brunt of job losses, with 53 per cent of the total jobs lost impacting women.

 
The less done to protect jobs and support vulnerable workers, business and communities in the coming months, the harder and longer the recovery will be.
 
Scott Morrison used to say that if you have a go, you’d get a go – now he’s saying you had a go, now off you go to Centrelink.
 
In the middle of the first recession in 29 years, the Government’s now talking about fast forwarding people out of work and onto welfare.
 
The Prime Minister seems to think being on JobSeeker is as good as having a job but he is wrong.
 
Speculating in the media about a future increase to JobSeeker won’t address the real anxiety in the community.
 
At the same time as the Liberals are asking employers to have “honest conversations” with workers, they are keeping Australians in the dark about the real state of the economy, with updated forecasts and the budget delayed until after the Eden-Monaro by-election.
 
Scott Morrison’s usual claim that the Australia’s recession isn’t as bad as America’s will be cold comfort to hundreds of thousands of real workers across Australia who find themselves in a devastated labour market.
 
Australians have worked together to combat the virus, but more work must be done by the Morrison Government to ensure the hardest-hit Australians are not left out and left behind in the recovery.
 
THURSDAY, 18 JUNE 2020

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