Young people and those in insecure work continue to bear the brunt of ongoing lockdowns without sufficient support from the Federal Government, according to data released today by the ABS.

Unemployment has risen to 4.6 per cent, although experts believe the real number of people out of work could be closer to 10 per cent, participation has dropped to 1.3 per cent lower than it was in March 2020, and youth unemployment remains high at 10.8 per cent.

The number of people either unemployed, underemployed – meaning they need more hours – or who have left the labour force entirely due to lack of available jobs, is now at around 2.5 million across the workforce, with 1.3 million out of work entirely or with zero hours.

Without support from the Morrison Government which keeps working people with income and attached to employment, the necessary restrictions and lockdowns that we will need to keep people safe through the recovery will keep costing jobs.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“We are so close to our vaccination targets thanks to the work of millions of working people – but restrictions and lockdowns which effect jobs and hours will still be needed throughout the recovery phase and this data shows we are not doing enough to support working people.

“The headline unemployment rate is hiding a grim reality for young and insecure workers who are facing the worst of the pandemic right now.

“Just as they did at the end of 2020, the Morrison Government is pulling up the ladder and abandoning working people before the job is done. We should have financial support in place for any worker affected by restrictions and lockdowns until they are a thing of the past.”