Jobless rate tipped to worsen due to Covid-19 outbreaks in Melbourne, Sydney

Economists are predicting another rise in the unemployment rate, when new figures are released today.

The ABS’ June labour force figures are due out this morning, which were hoped to have stabilised since the whopping 7.1 percent unemployment figure in May.

But, it’s understood the recent coronavirus outbreaks in Melbourne and now in Sydney may have worsened the labour market situation once more.


Last month’s 7.1 percent unemployment rate was even deemed conservative, with the federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg even saying the ‘real rate’ is more likely above 13 percent.

The figures are curbed by the Job Keeper and Seeker packages, and don’t account for employees who are working zero hours (ie. those who’ve been stood down).

NAB economists now forecast that another 175,000 will be in jobs this month, but that the unemployment rate will still worsen due to a rise in more people looking for work.

Employment and Skills Minister Michaelia Cash told The Today Show it’s hard to know exactly what the figures will show.

“Market predictions are all over the place today. Certainly the ABS labour force predictions are unemployment will remain at 7.1% with an increase in the participation rate.

“Again it doesn’t matter. Any job lost as a result of COVID-19 is devastating and that is why our sole focus as a government is to ensure the safe reopening of the Australian economy and to get Australians back into work,” Minister Cash said.

It comes as the federal government reveals its next stage of coronavirus support measures, in the form of a $2 billion ‘JobTrainer’ package.

Related article: Federal government to spend $2B on new ‘JobTrainer’ package

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