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COVID-19 sees official unemployment rate soar

  • June 18 2020
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COVID-19 sees official unemployment rate soar

By Cameron Micallef
June 18 2020

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the Australian unemployment rate hit a new 21-year high, according to official figures.

official unemployment rate soar

COVID-19 sees official unemployment rate soar

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  • June 18 2020
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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the Australian unemployment rate hit a new 21-year high, according to official figures.

official unemployment rate soar

Numbers released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have revealed that Australia’s unemployment rate is now 7.1 per cent, up nearly 2 per cent from prior to the pandemic.

Despite a sharp increase in the number of Australians looking for work, the number of people unemployed is less severe than many economists predicted, with 8-10 per cent unemployment speculated.

Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS, said: “The drop in employment, of close to a quarter of a million people, added to the 600,000 in April, brings the total fall to 835,000 people since March.”

“In two months, the percentage of people aged 15 and over employed in Australia decreased from around 62.5 per cent to around 58.7 per cent.”

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Unemployment increased by 85,700 people to 927,600, and the unemployment rate increased by 0.7 percentage points to 7.1 per cent (from a revised 6.4 per cent in April and 5.2 per cent in March).

In April, when shutdowns were in full swing, the unemployment rate jumped to 6.2 per cent, up from 5.2 per cent, recording the biggest increase in month-to-month on record, as almost 600,000 people lost their job.

However, there are signs of improvement month-on-month with businesses looking to bring staff back, according to the latest data from Seek.

The latest Seek employment data shows a 39.7 per cent month-on-month growth in jobs advertised. 

The industries contributing most significantly to month-on-month job ad growth are hospitality and tourism (up 138 per cent), trades and services (up 36 per cent) and manufacturing, transport and logistics (up 33 per cent). 

“We continued to see promising signs within the employment market during May, with all states and most industry sectors showing positive month-on-month job ad growth,” said Seek’s managing director, ANZ, Kendra Banks.

Looking at the states, it’s interesting to see Victorian job ads bouncing back (up 48.1 per cent m/m) at a faster rate than NSW (up 31.1 per cent m/m), despite easing restrictions at a later date and maintaining strict social isolation measures. 

And while their state borders remained closed, Queensland is also showing signs of improvement, with job ads growing at 48.4 per cent month-on-month.

COVID-19 sees official unemployment rate soar
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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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