Recently released Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Labour Force figures for August show there may be some cause for optimism as, nationwide, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.7% from July’s figure of 7.5% to 6.8% in August.
The results were mixed though with underemployment remaining high and Victoria’s lockdowns impacting the unemployment rate in that State.
The ABS revealed that nationwide, 111,000 more people found employment between July and August. Of those 74,800 people found part time work and 36,200 people were employed full time.
However the impacts of Covid-19 this year has seen 234,200 less people employed full time and 104,100 less people employed part time compared to August 2019.
Victorian unemployment increased by 0.3% over the month due to Covid and their strict lockdowns. With most States decreasing, South Australia remained the same and, apart from Victoria, Tasmania unemployment also rose by 0.3%.
Despite the 100,000 extra people finding work, the total number of hours worked rose by only 0.1 per cent.
Underemployment or people looking for more hours of work than they got was 8.8 per cent before the pandemic hit in March and it has now been stuck at around 11.2 per cent for months.
But there is cause for optimism, and the Morrison Government has some plans in its upcoming budget in October to further influence these positive trends.
Paul Miles, Managing Director for the BUSY Group stated “There are mixed results with the massively underemployed and the actual hours of work hasn’t changed much. Overall though it is positive and I’m looking forward to the upcoming budget in October as the Government is signalling a lot of investment, a lot of plans, to stimulate the economy and increase jobs”.
“Government support through the JobKeeper package has been instrumental to business survival and in keeping Australians employed. With upcoming changes to the JobKeeper package, only time will tell how this impacts our recovery moving forward”, Paul further stated.
So while we are climbing out of the impacts of 2020, industries that are supporting our current economy and looking for skills could be the answer. Read more in What industries are employing now?
BUSY At Work provide a range of employment, training and apprenticeship support services. For more information visit www.busyatwork.com.au