900,000 people are unemployed and 1.2 million are looking for more hours according to data on unemployment released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
This comes after modelling from Deloitte showing that working Australians could be waiting up to five years for wage growth to reach 2 per cent, adding to 7 years of record low wage growth before the pandemic.
The Morrison Government’s half-hearted recovery is leaving workers behind. JobSeeker is being decreased by $100 per fortnight as of January, and JobKeeper is set to finish in March.
Meanwhile, proposed changes to IR legislation would make it easier to cut workers’ pay, and make it more difficult to negotiate better pay and conditions.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:
“The recovery means nothing for the more than 2 million workers who are still looking for a job or for more hours, this Government is leaving millions of people behind.
“We have heard a lot about economic recovery, but for many Australians this is still completely out of reach. Many sectors still badly effected by the pandemic, such as tourism, aviation and universities are being left struggling and without support.
“A genuine recovery from the pandemic and the associated recession requires sector support, job creation and wage growth., It is more important than ever for the Government to look after working people, not set them back by cutting JobSeeker payments and ending JobKeeper.
“The wage growth crisis started years before the pandemic and looks set to continue for years afterwards. Wage stagnation for many years ahead means any recovery is meaningless for millions of Australians.
“The Morrison Governments plans to cut income support and introduce IR legislation which cuts workers pay and conditions will worsen unemployment, increase insecure work and further drive down wage growth.”