Young people and those in insecure work continue to bear the brunt of ongoing lockdowns without sufficient support from the Federal Government, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) says.
Quoting data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the union body says unemployment has risen to 4.6 percent, although experts believe the real number of people out of work could be closer to 10 percent.
Participation has dropped to 1.3 percent lower than it was in March 2020, and youth unemployment remains high at 10.8 percent.
Without support more jobs will go
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.
According to the ACTU, without support from the Government to keep working people with income and attached to employment, ongoing restrictions and lockdowns will keep costing Australians jobs.
“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,” ACTU President Michele O’Neil said.
“The headline unemployment rate is hiding a grim reality for young and insecure workers who are facing the worst of the pandemic right now.
Govt has abandoned working people
“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.”
In its statement released this morning, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said seasonally adjusted employment fell by 138,000 people (1.1 percent) between August and September 2021.
Bjorn Jarvis, Head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, said: “Extended lockdowns in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory have seen employment and hours worked both drop back below their pre-pandemic levels.
In September 2021, there were 111,000 fewer employed people (0.9 percent) and 2.0 percent fewer hours worked than in March 2020.”