Jobs increase in May as economy continues to reopen

New figures suggest the post-coronavirus jobs recovery has begun, albeit slowly.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of payroll jobs increased by 1 per cent last month.

They were still down 7.5 per cent at the end of May, but that’s an improvement on the 8.9 per cent reduction recorded in mid-April.


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It’s estimated that equates to around 100,000 jobs being restored to the economy.

The figures are based on data provided to the ATO by businesses using the Single Touch Payroll system.

Some of the hardest hit industries have started seeing an improvement following the easing of restrictions.

The accommodation and food services sector saw a 5 per cent increase in payroll jobs in May, with almost half of those coming in the final weeks of the month.

But the industry is still down 29 per cent on pre-COVID numbers.

The arts and recreation sector continues to struggle as well, with the number of payroll jobs down 26 per cent.

Jobs worked by women are still down around 8 per cent from where they were in March compared with a drop of 6 per cent for males.

Total wages have increased by 0.7 per cent in the final week of May but are still down 8.3 per cent since the beginning of the pandemic.

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