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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

ACT records largest jump in unemployment since May

The ACT recorded the nation’s biggest increase in unemployment in June, jumping from 4.1% in May to 5.1%, in figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

The Territory’s unemployment rate is still the lowest in the country, with figures revealing the national unemployment rate is sitting at 7.4%.

The national unemployment rate, which was sitting at 7.1% in May, is 2.3% higher than in February this year.

The ACT Council of Social Services (ACTCOSS) CEO Dr Emma Campbell said despite having the lowest unemployment rate in the country, the ACT’s statistics were still alarming.

“In the period between Christmas 2019 and May 2020, the number of people in the ACT who were looking for work and receiving JobSeeker and Youth Allowance more than doubled from around 6,500 to almost 15,000 people,” she said.

“There are a range of people we are concerned about in terms of those likely to bear more of the impact of higher unemployment for varying reasons. This includes young people, women, older workers, and temporary visa holders.”

The recent ABS figures show youth employment sitting at a 23-year high of 16.4%, while fulltime female employment has dropped by 5.2% since February.

ACTCOSS has been rallying for the Government to persist with the increased welfare payments in order to combat these statistics.

Dr Campbell said based on data from the Department of Human Services and ACT Treasury, there was enough evidence to show the payments were needed.

“Based on data available for May 2020, there was only one job vacancy for every four people on JobSeeker or Youth Allowance looking for paid work in the ACT,” she said.  

“Nationally, this figure is one job for every 13 people looking for work. The latest unemployment figures suggest that the gap has widened between the jobs available and those looking for work.

“We need these payments to be enough for people to cover the basics so they can rebuild their lives.”

The June employment report from employment platform Seek has shown job ads are down by 32.8% this year.

However, the same report showed a 9% increase in ACT job ads in June, compared to the previous month.

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