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JobKeeper continues to soften COVID-19 employment shock

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
16 June 2020 1 minute readShare
employment shock

COVID-19 job losses slowed further in May, with some of the most heavily impacted industries posting growth, backing the benefits of the JobKeeper program as it continues to soften the blow of the coronavirus financial impact.

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), payroll job losses since mid-March were greatest in the week ended 18 April (8.9 per cent) and had recovered to a 7.5 per cent loss by the end of May.

“Looking at the week-to-week changes, there was a 0.4 [of a percentage point] increase in the number of payroll jobs in the week end[ed] 30 May, following no change recorded in the week end[ed] 23 May (0.0 per cent),” said the head of labour statistics at the ABS, Bjorn Jarvis.

Some of the industries most heavily impacted by COVID-19 have also displayed slight recovery, with payroll jobs picking up in the accommodation and food services industry by 5 per cent through May.

They did, however, remain 29.1 per cent lower than in mid-March, showing that the industry is still a long way from full recovery.

ABS analysis also showed that jobs worked by multiple jobholders were heavily over-represented in job losses. Namely, around 29.0 per cent of jobs lost since mid-March were previously worked by people as a secondary job.

According to the bureau, this could be a reflection of the JobKeeper rules, which state that support can be sought for only one job for each eligible employee.

The data also revealed that payroll jobs worked by females increased by 1.4 per cent through May, compared with 0.4 of a percentage point for males.

However, total female job losses since mid-March were still greater — 8.0 per cent — compared with 6.3 per cent for males.

The latest ABS data also confirmed that Tasmania has overtaken Victoria and New South Wales, becoming the state with the largest changes to payroll jobs since March.

The statistics showed that between 14 March and 30 May, Tasmania lost 9.5 per cent of its payroll jobs, followed by Victoria at 9 per cent and NSW at 7 per cent.

Last week, the ATO revealed that JobKeeper payments worth $12.96 billion have been delivered to 872,482 businesses, covering about 3.3 million employees, with that number expected to grow further over the coming weeks and months.

JobKeeper continues to soften COVID-19 employment shock
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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business. 

Maja has a decade-long career in journalism across finance, business and politics. Now a well-versed reporter in the SME and accounting arena, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies and enabling citizens to influence decision-making.

You can email Maja on [email protected] 

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