Job vacancies fell 10 per cent amid widespread lockdowns, ABS data reveals today, and the Morrison Government’s decision to cut disaster payments before the workforce recovers will only make the situation worse for Australian workers who have lost work or hours due to lockdowns.

When including those who have now dropped out of the labour market and those who work zero hours, the effective unemployment rate is 9.7 per cent.

The ABS revealed today a 36,000 drop in the number of job vacancies available down to 334,000 last month.

NSW and South Australia had the biggest decline in the quarter, both at 16 per cent.

Accommodation and food services job vacancies fell 28 per cent and arts and recreation decreased by 27 per cent.

The Morrison Government must not prematurely cut disaster payments before job vacancies recover and lockdowns and restrictions are no longer a common occurrence.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Hospitality and accommodation saw a massive drop of 28 per cent in job vacancies and arts and recreation 27 per cent – these sectors will need time to recover once we reach 80 per cent full vaccination and disaster payments need to be in place so they can.

“When you consider those who have dropped out of the labour market because they can’t get a job and those who are called ‘employed’ but work zero hours a week, 9.7 per cent of Australians are effectively unemployed. It is critical that the Morrison Government does not remove supports as we reach 80 per cent full vaccination and brace for staggered reopening.

“The Morrison Government is prematurely cutting disaster payments while there are not enough jobs or hours of work to go around, and local economies desperately need workers having money in their pockets to spend.”