‘TERRIBLY SHOCKING’: PM addresses ‘very tough day’
Six million Aussies now on JobKeeper
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is addressing the statistics now, also describing it as "a very tough day" for the country.
Mr Frydenberg said the almost 600,000 unemployed were our "friends, neighbours, workmates".
The treasurer said the unemployment figures showed "the real and painful economic impact of coronavirus".
The participation rate - the amount of people actively searching for work - also fell by 63.5 per cent.
Youth unemployment rose to 13.8 per cent.
Despite the worrying statistics, Mr Frydenberg said the government was spending big to make sure Aussies were supported.
"This is a record-breaking pace for money going out the door," he said.
"The number of employees covered by businesses formally enrolled in JobKeeper now exceeds six million.
"And we have 1.6 million Australians on JobSeeker and Youth Allowance.
PM vows to get economy back to normal
Mr Morrison has promised to get Australia back to a "COVID Safe" economy.
"Australians hurting today can look forward knowing on the basis of our national character and resolution that we will see better days," he said.
"I want to commend all of those people involved in JobKeeper and JobSeeker…that is what holds nation up as it should in times of emergency…and the focus should be on those programs to get Australians back on their feet."
Mr Morrison said the government putting in support packages had somewhat helped the unemployment rate.
"When it comes to our economy we anticipated that this would be the impact so we did not wait to put in the economic support and lifelines that would be needed," he said.
"This was done many, many weeks ago and at record levels.
"(JobKeeper), a program of a scale this country has never seen before and I hope never has to see again.
"These supports will remain vital as Australia works its way through."
Unemployment rate rises to 6.2 per cent
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is addressing the just-released April job figures, labelling it a "very tough day for all Australians".
"This is a tough day for Australia. A very tough day. Almost 600,000 jobs have been lost. Every one of them devastating for those Australians, for their families, for their communities," he said.
"A very tough day. Terribly shocking, although not unexpected."
Our unemployment rate has risen by one point to 6.2 per cent, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Unemployment increased by 104,500 people to 823,300.
And seasonally adjusted employment fell by 594,300 people between March and April.
As reported below, the figure released by the ABS is much lower than that forecast by economists.
The market predicted Australia's unemployment rate in April would hit 8.2 or 8.3 per cent.
While the figures do seem better than predicted, the 6.2 per cent does not include any Australian who is currently on JobKeeper.
The temporary government support package is due to end in September.
Everyone on the government scheme, even if they're working zero hours or have been stood down, are still counted as employed.
Another worrying statistic was the 2.7 million Australians who either left the workforce or saw their hours reduced between March and April.
That figure was much higher than previous years.
Thousands of businesses across Australia have been shuttered due to the devastating impacts of coronavirus and new research has revealed the states that have been hardest hit.
As a result of companies slashing budgets, many have put in place hiring freezes, with SEEK reporting a severe downturn in job advertisements according to their April 2020 Employment Report.
Victoria and New South Wales were the hardest hit states with job ads decreasing by 56.3 per cent and 52.4 per cent respectively. Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory had slightly lower levels of decline at minus 42.4 per cent, minus 43.9 per cent and minus 41.9 per cent.
Speaking to news.com.au, the Managing Director of SEEK ANZ, Kendra Banks said this was because as the most populated states, NSW and Victoria also have the most job opportunities.
"When the coronavirus pandemic started to impact these states, we saw job ad volumes soften, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan areas," she said.
"During April, industries such as retail and consumer products and hospitality and tourism, which make large contributions to job ad volumes, were limited in the way they could operate, and we saw significant declines.
"Corporate hirers also paused their recruitment activity, which impacted industries such as information, communication and technology and professional services roles, which are also sectors that make big contributions to the employment market."
Compared to 2019 job advertising rates, 2020 figures have been slashed by more than half of what they were.
However, the job market could be on the mend, based on data from the first two weeks of May.
"April was the first full calendar month where we had a clear indication of how coronavirus was impacting the employment market," said Ms Banks.
"The full set of social isolation measures were not imposed until mid-March, which explains why March job ad declines were minus 27.4 per cent, compared to April's decline of minus 49.9 per cent."
The job market was hit with the largest decline in the week ending April 19 when job ads were down 69.1 per cent compared to the same week in 2019.
There could be a spark of hope, however. In the week ending in May 10, job advertising had shifted upwards to minus 59.7 per cent compared to the same week in 2019.
That 10 per cent increase could indicate we "may have turned a corner," said Ms Banks.
Job ads are "slowly" on the rise too.
"In the first two weeks of May, we have seen job ad volumes slowly creep back up, which aligns to the will of governments to get the economy moving and get people back into jobs," she said.
"We know this will take some time, which is why we are cautious to be too positive at this point."
When it came to which industries would prove most difficult for job seekers, those in human resources and recruitment, legal and administration and office support will have it the hardest, with those sectors reporting a 69.1 per cent, 67.3 per cent and 64.2 per cent drop in job ads.
Due to social distancing measures, retail and hospitality and tourism industries have also suffered with month on month job ad declines of 55 per cent and 59.6 per cent respectively.
While strict lockdown measures are slowly being eased in Australia, May figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the grisly impact of restrictions. Their findings showed that almost one million people were out of work due to COVID-19, with the number of jobs falling by 7.5 per cent between March 14 and April 18.
The value of wages paid also slumped by 8.2 per cent and unemployment is expected to hit at least 10 per cent by June, which is double the current figure.
Originally published as State savaged by mass job losses