Accommodation and hospitality workers continue to be the most impacted by pandemic job losses, with payroll jobs falling to 23.8 per cent below pre-pandemic level by mid-September, according to ABS data released today.

This comes as the Morrison Government prepares to remove disaster payments and workers face an uncertain future with lockdowns and staggered opening to continue once states reach 80 per cent full vaccination.

Payroll jobs fell by 0.7 per cent in the fortnight to 11 September, following a larger fall of 1.5 per cent in the previous fortnight. The largest falls in payroll jobs were experienced by women, down 0.8 per cent, and young people (aged 15 – 19) down 1.6 per cent.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“Almost one in four of the hospitality and accommodation jobs that existed before the pandemic were lost by mid-September. These industries continue to be the hardest hit by necessary lockdowns. Workers need financial supports from the Morrison Government as many sectors will not be back to full employment well into 2022.

“The national roadmap anticipates further restriction being necessary if cases climb. The decision to axe disaster payments in these conditions is reckless and will continue to condemn workers into poverty right as the economy needs them with money in their pockets to fuel the recovery.

“The Morrison Government is repeating its mistakes of 2020 by cutting support payments before jobs and the economy have recovered, and condemning thousands of workers to poverty.”