Almost 600,000 Australians lose jobs as virus lockdown bites
14 Mai, 2020, 13:38 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
The jobless figures from the country's statistics office will provide a stark illustration of the pandemic's effect on the national economy, which had experienced an unbroken run of growth for more than two decades.
Australia's unemployment rate has posted its steepest monthly rise on record, with 594,300 people losing their jobs in April as restrictions to limit coronavirus shut thousands of businesses and affected many more.
"The unemployment rate rose far less than most had anticipated in April, but that masks a sharp fall in employment and we still expect the unemployment rate to rise further over the coming months", Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics wrote in a note.
Underemployment - those with a job who wanted more hours of work - surged by more than 600,000 to 1.8 million people, taking the rate to a record high of 13.7 per cent, up almost 5 per cent in just a month.
Additionally, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged spending worth more than 10% of GDP, including a A$130 billion subsidy to employers to keep staff they might otherwise have let go.
"This means there was a high number of people without a job who didn't or couldn't actively look for work or weren't available for work".
Australia imposed strict social distancing measures in March to tackle the pandemic, closing its borders to all non-citizens and ordering people to stay home unless on essential business.
Australia has recorded about 7,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 98 deaths.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who spoke to reporters alongside Morrison after the announcement, said the job losses were "heart breaking" and that economic numbers would get worse before getting better.
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