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Payroll disappoints as economy opens up

  • July 02 2020
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Payroll disappoints as economy opens up

By Cameron Micallef
July 02 2020

The latest payroll data has been labelled as disappointing, with the Australian economy thought to have been boosted by the reopening of businesses.

Payroll disappoints as economy opens up

Payroll disappoints as economy opens up

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  • July 02 2020
  • Share

The latest payroll data has been labelled as disappointing, with the Australian economy thought to have been boosted by the reopening of businesses.

Payroll disappoints as economy opens up

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today (2 July) show that total payroll jobs increased 1.0 per cent between mid-May and mid-June.

However, the pace of change has been described as a disappointment.

UBS economist George Tharenous said, “Despite the ongoing easing of mobility restrictions and reopening of the economy, over the two weeks to 13 June, the recovery in payrolls was  disappointing, up by only 0.1 per cent, a sharp slowing from a lift of ~1 per cent in the prior two  fortnights.”

The head of labour statistics at the ABS, Bjorn Jarvis, was more upbeat about the figures.

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“This continued the gradual recovery in payroll jobs since mid-April (when total job losses were 8.8 per cent). However, payroll jobs are still 6.4 per cent below mid-March, when Australia recorded its 100th confirmed case of COVID-19.”

“The recovery in payroll jobs between mid-April and mid-June represents around 30 per cent of the jobs initially lost,” Mr Jarvis said.

“Between mid-May and mid-June, the easing of restrictions saw payroll jobs increasing faster for the under 20s, up by 4.1 per cent.”

UBS notes that the total cumulative peak-to-trough fall from the peak on 14 March to 18 April was 8.8 per cent, while the total recovery from the trough up to 13 June is now 2.7 per cent.  

Hence, since the peak, payrolls are still down by 6.4 per cent, implying a drop in employment of  -827,000.

The figures also show that employees which have been previously impacted by COVID-19’s forced shutdown are starting to return to work.

“Payroll jobs in the accommodation and food services industry recovered by more than other impacted industries between mid-May and mid-June (3.8 per cent), but remained 28.6 per cent lower than in mid-March.”

“Western Australia (2.3 per cent) had the largest increases in jobs between mid-May and mid-June, and their total payroll job losses since mid-March were also the lowest, at 4.4 per cent.”

Mr Jarvis added: “Looking at the week-to-week changes, payroll jobs showed no change in the week ending 13 June. This follows an increase of 0.2 per cent in the week ending 6 June.”


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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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