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Some Restaurants, Pubs Open Today – But Little To Cheer

CANBERRA:  “This is a tough day for Australia,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said yesterday – and he wasn’t kidding, as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) produced a flurry of statistics showing just what a nasty path the coronavirus has carved through the Australian population. 

Even though some pubs and restaurants today will open across the nation for the first time in weeks, most patrons (limited to 10 at a time in some states, including NSW) will not have a lot to celebrate.

As the PM noted, almost 600,000 jobs have been lost, and there is no suggestion that all of them are going to come back.

New figures published yesterday by the ABS certainly made grim reading. The bureau estimated that some 2.7 million people have either lost their jobs or had their hours reduced.

Of the 2.7 million, some 900,000 were employed in March – but found themselves unemployed in April, while 1.8 million either worked fewer hours or no hours at all for “economic reasons”. And of that 1.8 million, more than 750,000 did not work at all.

In April alone, Stats says employment decreased by 594,300 to 12,418,700 people. Full-time employment decreased 220,500 to 8.65 million. – David Frith

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