New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show total payroll jobs increased by 1.0 per cent between mid-May and mid-June; however, they remained 6.4 per cent below mid-March, when Australia was at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This continued the gradual recovery in payroll jobs since mid-April, when total job losses were 8.8 per cent,” said head of labour statistics at the ABS, Bjorn Jarvis.
“However, payroll jobs are still 6.4 per cent below mid-March, when Australia recorded its 100th confirmed case of COVID-19.”
On the plus side, he revealed that some 30 per cent of jobs initially lost have been recovered from mid-April to mid-June.
“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.”
Speaking on 2GB radio on Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the government is worried about allowing the JobSeeker payment to become an impediment to work.
“We are getting a lot of anecdotal feedback from small businesses, even large businesses, where some of them are finding it hard to get people to come and take the shifts because they’re on these higher levels of payment,” Mr Morrison said.
However, the ABS data paints a grim picture for certain sectors and states.
While Tuesday’s figures suggest that payroll jobs in the accommodation and food services industry recovered by 3.8 per cent between mid-May and mid-June, they remained 28.6 per cent lower than in mid-March.
“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,” Mr Jarvis said.
Looking at the individual states, Western Australia 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.
However, to date, Victoria has suffered greatly, recording a 7.6 per cent decrease in payroll jobs. It is followed closely by Tasmania with 7.3 per cent and Queensland with 6.3 per cent.
Overall, Mr Jarvis concluded: “Looking at the week-to-week changes, payroll jobs showed no change in the week end[ed] 13 June. This follows an increase of 0.2 [of a percentage point] in the week end[ed] 6 June.”