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Payroll jobs decline across the country as JobKeeper cuts hit over-20s

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
20 October 2020 1 minute readShare
Payroll jobs decline

Victoria continues to yield significant payroll job losses, bringing the national total to 4.1 per cent below the mid-March figure.

Payroll jobs across Australia fell by 0.9 of a percentage point across the fortnight to 3 October, on the back of a decline in all the states and territories between 19 September and 3 October, data from the ABS has shown, hinting a negative trend possibly sparked by JobKeeper cuts.

“All states and territories reported a fall in payroll jobs in late September, ranging from a 1.2 per cent decrease in the Northern Territory to a 0.7 [of a percentage point] decrease in South Australia,” said Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS.

However, when considering the data from the start of COVID-19, nationally, payroll jobs have declined by 4.1 per cent, with Victoria making the most significant contribution on the back of a 7.7 per cent loss.

Since the week ended 14 March 2020, the largest changes across industry were in accommodation and food services where a decrease of 17.4 per cent has been registered, followed by arts and recreation services with a drop of 12.9 per cent. 

Returning to data from the most recent fortnight, Mr Jarvis pointed to an alarming trend.

“The fall in payroll jobs in late September was seen across all groups of people aged over 20, with an increase in jobs during this period limited to those under 20,” Mr Jarvis said.

Namely, people aged 20 to 49 accounted for almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of payroll jobs prior to COVID-19. But in the fortnight to 3 October, payroll jobs worked by this age group decreased by around 1 per cent — nationally and within most states and territories.

On a more positive note, the ABS data points to a recovery in female-worked jobs.

While payroll jobs worked by females were hardest hit by mid-April, their recovery was stronger by 3 October than payroll jobs worked by males (with 58 per cent of jobs regained, compared with 24 per cent).

However, payroll jobs worked by females remained 4.2 per cent lower than mid-March, and 5.0 per cent lower for males.

Payroll jobs decline across the country as JobKeeper cuts hit over-20s
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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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