Govt Lifts Worker Re-Skill Aid As Unemployment Hits 7.4%
Australia’s unemployment rate jumped to 7.4% in June, up from 7.1% in May according to latest ABS numbers. It comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces a ramp up in government aid to support reskilling workers.
Seasonally adjusted figures reveal the workforce participation rate jumped 1.3 percentage points to 64% in June.
It comes after employment plunged by a notable 835,000 over April and May, with coronavirus related restrictions closing many industry segments. Workforce participation dropped by 3.1 percentage points across April and May.
Latest numbers reveal an employment jump of 210,800 in the month of June.
Underemployment has also dropped from May to June, shifting from 13.1% to 11.7% respectively.
Disclosed within a press briefing in Canberra today, Mr Morrison revealed the government was making a “very big commitment” around ~$2 billion, to support the reskilling and upskilling of Australians.
The Commonwealth has pledged to invest $500 million to retrain Aussies in areas that need new skilled workers – a figure matched by state and territories.
The government has also offered to extend assistance to businesses to keep around 180,000 apprentices employed until March next year.
A wage subsidy of $7000 would be provided, with the measure costing around $1.5 billion.
The ABS’ survey occurred in the first half of June, following some of the social distancing measures implemented in months earlier. Mr Morrison has warned unemployment figures do not include Melbourne’s metro shutdown, flagging ongoing struggles.
Key figures from the ABS (June – seasonally adjusted):
- Employment increased 210,800 to 12,328,500 people. Full-time employment decreased 38,100 to 8,489,100 people and part-time employment increased 249,000 to 3,839,400 people.
- Unemployment increased 69,300 to 992,300 people.
- Unemployment rate increased 0.4 pts to 7.4%.
- Underemployment rate decreased 1.4 pts to 11.7%.
- Underutilisation rate decreased 1.0 pts to 19.1%.
- Participation rate increased by 1.3 pts to 64.0%.
- Monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 64.3 million hours to 1,664.7 million hours.