The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released latest employment data. For those looking for some insight into the impact of COVID-19, you will need to wait. The next release will tell us more about that.
Financial institutions and economic commentators are forecasting double digit unemployment. In Australia’s history we had only double-digit unemployment twice in the last 40 years (1983 and 1991-93).
The interesting feature of the new data is that the share of part-time employment and underemployment are continuing to rise. The $130 billion JobKeeper payment will help keep more Australian’s in jobs, which will release the mounting pressure on the expected rise in unemployment.
But it is these two groups that felt the effect of economic contraction due to COVID-19 most swiftly and directly but we may also see these groups rise as permanent employment changes shape. So, in future ABS releases we need to watch these figures closely.