Labour force figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistic (ABS) reflect the ongoing impact of COVID-19, border closures and restrictions on the country’s labour market activity.
Seasonally adjusted employment decreased by 29,500 in September to stand at 12,571,900, with Victoria being the reason for the decline.
This comes in the wake of a strong increase of 129,100 jobs in August. The unemployment rate for September also increased slightly, by 0.1 percentage points, to 6.9 per cent.
Victoria lost 35 000 jobs
ABS figures show that the decrease in jobs was most significant in Victoria, much of which was in Stage 4 lockdowns during the reporting period, which saw the state’s level of employment fall by 35,500 (or 1.1 per cent) in September 2020.
Outside of Victoria, the rest of Australia fared much better and saw an increase of 6,000 jobs.
According to employment minister, Senator Michaelia Cash, the Federal government remains acutely aware that the economic and labour market fallout from COVID-19 will continue for some time.
Cushion pandemic’s impact
“That is why the Government has moved quickly to protect both the health and jobs of all Australians and has put in place sustainable measures to help cushion the impact of the pandemic,” Cash stated.
The minister said that, in order to help keep businesses in business and Australians in jobs, the government had responded with hundreds of billions of dollars to support an economic recovery.
“The Morrison Government has recently committed $1.2-billion to boosting the apprenticeship commencements wage subsidy to support 100,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships.”
Subsidy for apprenticeships
She added: “The 50 per cent wage subsidy announced in the 2020-21 Budget will support the next generation of our skilled workers and to help job seekers get back into work.”
The subsidy will be available to employers of any size and in industry, anywhere in Australia, who engage an Australian in an apprentice or trainee position from 5 October.
Under the measure, employers will be eligible for 50 per cent of the wages for a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee for the period up to 30 September 2021, up to $7,000 per quarter.