Unemployment has jumped to 7.1 per cent, to 927,600 people, with 13.1 per cent of the workforce underemployed, according to new data released by the ABS this morning. This is the highest unemployment rate in almost 20 years.

227,000 jobs were lost between April and May.

This data shows the impact of the pandemic with the JobKeeper wage subsidy in place. If the subsidy is withdrawn as planned in September we will see a massive spike in job losses which will be a huge blow to the recovery.

Industries like aviation, hospitality, retail, higher education and manufacturing are hard hit and will take longer to recover than the rest of the economy and need additional support, but the entire economy will suffer a severe shock if JobKeeper is withdrawn too early.

We need to prevent job losses and ensure that working people have money to spend – this is the path to recovery.

The ACTU has put forward an eight point plan to create jobs through the recovery which we again call on the Morrison Government to adopt.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“These job losses are appalling, but will be nothing compared to what we will see in September if the Morrison Government pulls the rug out from under the recovery by withdrawing JobKeeper.

“227,000 jobs were lost in a month. We need to be extending support for working people, not talking about cutting it back.

“We have almost a million people out of work and 3.5 million relying on the wage subsidy program and 1.7 million underemployed. We know that huge numbers of people currently receiving JobKeeper will lose jobs if the scheme is ended too soon.

“JobKeeper is preventing significant job losses across the economy, and should be extended, not cut in months. Workers need support and the economy needs support.

“The Government has no job creation plan and are gambling millions of jobs and the health of the economy on the false assumption that the economy will “snap back” after the pandemic.”