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2 million Australians still out of work

  • July 03 2020
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2 million Australians still out of work

By Cameron Micallef
July 03 2020

Nearly 24 per cent of the nation’s workforce are now unemployed or underemployed as the economic fallout from COVID-19 continues, according to new research.

Australians still out of work

2 million Australians still out of work

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  • July 03 2020
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Nearly 24 per cent of the nation’s workforce are now unemployed or underemployed as the economic fallout from COVID-19 continues, according to new research.

Australians still out of work

Figures released by Roy Morgan showed that 2 million Australians were out of work in the month of June, improving by 42,000 workers from May unemployment rate, as Australia began to reopen after the COVID-19 lockdown. 

However, the gains in employment have been offset by losses in underemployment, with 37,000 more Australians working less hours.

Roy Morgan’s unemployment figure of 14.5 per cent for June is more than double the current ABS estimate for May 2020 of 7.1 per cent.

However, the ABS figure for May estimated a large decline in the size of the workforce since March, which they said was down 655,000. If the ABS workforce estimate for May had matched that in March, the ABS unemployment figure would have been 11.5 per cent (1.58 million).

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According to Roy Morgan’s CEO, Michele Levine, most of the positive employment data came from NSW and South Australia.

“The monthly drop in unemployment was driven by the decline in NSW, with unemployment dropping to 12 per cent, down 1 per cent on May and clearly the lowest of any state,” she said. 

“Unemployment also declined in South Australia but was largely unchanged, or slightly up, in other states.”

Ms Levine also noted how far Australia is from a full economic recovery. 

“The small changes in unemployment and underemployment in June illustrate just how much new growth is required to provide jobs for the more than 1 million Australians now unemployed that were working prior to the COVID-19 shutdowns enforced in mid-March.”

However, the CEO noted ultimately the pandemic will decide when Australians can get back to work.

“In addition, there has been sobering news over the last week as around 350 new cases of COVID-19 have been announced in Melbourne – an average of about 50 per day. This new spike has forced suburb-by-suburb lockdowns around Melbourne and, if new infections continue to roll in, there is a strong possibility the entire city may again be forced back onto stage 3 restrictions,” Ms Levine said.


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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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