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COVID-19 puts 1 million out of work

Nearly a million Australians lost their jobs in the month after Australia introduced business shutdowns and social distancing measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, new Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.

Business Aidan Curtis 06 May 2020
— 1 minute read

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has updated its figures sourced from the ATO’s Single Touch Payroll data, showing that jobs decreased by a further 1.5 per cent between 4 April and 18 April.

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The job losses, totalling 7.5 per cent between 14 March and 18 April, mean that approximately 975,000 Australians were put out of work in a single month.

“Looking at the week-to-week changes, the decrease in the number of jobs in the week ending 18 April was 1.5 per cent, which was larger than the 0.3 [of a percentage point] decrease in the week ending 11 April 2020,” ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said.

Total wages paid by businesses decreased by 1 per cent in the week ended 18 April, bringing the total decrease in wages since 14 March to 8.2 per cent.

As an industry, professional, scientific and technical services has seen a total job loss of 5.6 per cent since 14 March, which is an improvement on the 7.9 per cent drop it saw as of 4 April.

It also saw a slight uptick in total wages paid of 0.7 of a percentage point between 4 April and 18 April to now sit at a total decrease of 7.7 per cent.

Mr Jarvis said the accommodation and food services industry and the arts and recreation industry continued to show the biggest job losses, with losses of 33.4 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively.

“Job losses in accommodation and food services were greatest in South Australia (-39.7 per cent) and Victoria (-35.6 per cent).

“The new data shows that jobs in accommodation and food services worked by people aged 20–29 and people over 70 decreased the most (-40.8 per cent and -43.7 per cent).”

Victoria has seen the largest state-wide job losses with an 8.6 per cent decrease, overtaking Tasmania which sits on an 8 per cent decrease.

COVID-19 puts 1 million out of work
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