Australia set for 2nd Covid-19 unemployment spike

Canberra, Aug 24: Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Monday said an analysis has found that the country’s effective unemployment will top 13 per cent again in the coming months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Effective unemployment takes into account jobless people looking for work, those who have stopped looking for work and people who are technically employed but are working zero hours.

The figure was 9.9 per cent in July, down from a peak of more than 14 per cent in April, compared to an official unemployment rate — which only measures unemployed people actively looking for work of 7.5 per cent.

Frydenberg said that the figure would spike again with up to 400,000 people in the Victoria expected to lose their jobs as a result of the worst-hit state’s second lockdown and that’s why “it is vitally important we get the virus under control”.

According to the data, 700,000 of the 1.3 million Australians who lost their jobs or were fired with zero hours since the crisis have regained work.

“The nation is clearly at two different stages: there is Victoria and there is the rest,” Frydenberg said in an opinion piece which was published by The Australian newspaper.

“Outside Victoria, the number of people on unemployment benefits is about 3 per cent below the peak in May. In Victoria, it’s 3 per cent above.

“With Victoria a quarter of the national economy, getting it back on track is critical to the nation’s recovery. Victoria’s success will be Australia’s success,” he added.