Staggering Amount Of Aussie Jobs Lost Since Lockdown Began
Almost 700,000 Australians have lost their jobs since March when the coronavirus lockdown began across the country, new data shows.
The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics from mid-March to mid-April revealed there were approximately 650-000-700,000 fewer paid jobs.
The data also revealed close to one-third of Australians household finances had worsened due to the coronavirus.
Twice as many adults also experienced feelings of anxiety, including restlessness or nervousness, compared to responses from the 2017-18 National Health Survey.
The ABS data update came as Treasurer Josh Frydenberg forecast an economic shock for the country as a result of coronavirus.
Speaking at the National Press Club on Tuesday, Frydenberg said Australia's economy was losing $4 billion a week during the shutdown.
Treasury also estimated the coronavirus measures will plunge gross domestic product by 10 per cent in the June quarter — the equivalent of $50 billion wiped from the economy.
By the end of March, the government had rolled out two economic stimulus packages, totalling about $200 billion, increasing the social safety net.
The JobKeeper wage subsidy program has seen more than 725,000 businesses registered, with about 4.7 million Australian workers covered by that program, according to Frydenberg.
But he said despite the increase in panic buying toilet paper, spending has decreased, having a devastating impact on Australia's economy.
"Recent credit and debit card data from the banks show that spending on arts and recreational services was down 60 per cent and accommodation and food services were down around 70 per cent in late April, compared to the previous year," Frydenberg said.
"Despite the rush for toilet paper and the record increase in overall retail trade in March, due in small part to panic buying, overall consumption, according to NAB data, has fallen 19.5 per cent since the start of the year."
Frydenberg added "the economic shock of the world dwarfs" the Global Financial Crisis.
"During the GFC the global economy contracted by just 0.1 per cent in 2009," he said.
"But according to the International Monetary Fund's most recent forecast, there will be a three per cent contraction in global growth in 2020."
"In the last four weeks alone, 30 million Americans have filed jobless claims. Which is equivalent to almost 19 per cent of their workforce."
However, Frydenberg Australia is in a better position than many of our international counterparts, with 85 per cent of the mining workforce still operational.
Frydenberg hit back at critics who said Australia was not reopening quickly enough and said it was important to have the right protocols in place for businesses to reopen so they do not suffer financially.
The treasurer said Australia is in a "harvesting phase" of assessing both new and old reforms with "fresh eyes" for post-crisis rebuilding.
According to Frydenberg, this will include reskilling and upskilling workers for the digital environment, regulatory reform to reduce the cost burden on businesses, enhancing the flow of capital and increasing competition.
The treasurer said the COVID tracing app and economic packages will help Australians cope with the economic and health impacts of the pandemic.
"Through these and the many other economic and health measures we have announced over recent weeks, Australia now has a bridge to the other side," he said.
"While the shadow of the economic shock created by this crisis will be both profound and long-lasting, we can remain optimistic about our future."
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