Australia Posts Record Job Losses In April

London, 14 May 2020 (LS NEWS) - Australia saw record job losses last month as the government’s Covid-19 restriction measures shut down large parts of the economy.

 

Data from the Australian Statistic Bureau (ABS) released on Thursday showed employment falling by 594.3k in April. This was a slightly larger drop that the 575.0k economists had predicted.

 

The unemployment rate rose a full percentage point to 6.2pct from 5.2pct in March but would have been even higher were it not for a large number of people leaving the labour force.

 

“The large drop in employment did not translate into a similar sized rise in the number of unemployed people because around 489,800 people left the labour force”, said Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS.

 

“Had the increase in the number of people who were not in the labour force been a further increase in unemployment, then the unemployment rate would have increased to around 9.6pct.”

 

Treasurer Frydenberg said shortly after the data was released that the job losses were “heart-breaking” and warned that economic numbers would get worse before they get better. He also maintained his forecast that the unemployment rate would reach 10pct.

 

PM Morrison offered a similarly gloomy outlook as he told reporters “we must brace ourselves for further hard news”.

 

-- Conor Cooper