Regional parts of the Northern Territory had 57 JobSeekers for each role advertised online in June, shocking figures have revealed.
The coronavirus crisis has destroyed so many jobs that even Canberra, the nation’s least-affected area, had four times more people receiving unemployment benefits than job vacancies.
In regional Australia as a whole there were 28 JobSeekers per available job, compared to 13 per role in the capital cities.
Regional parts of the Northern Territory have 57 JobSeekers available for each role advertised online, shocking figures have revealed. Pictured: Uluru
Regional Queensland had 30 people claiming JobSeeker for every job available in June. Pictured: The town of Montville in the Sunshine Coast region
There were about 740,000 Australians on JobSeeker in regional areas in June, Department of Social Services figures show.
The Department of Jobs and Small Business’s Internet Vacancy Index, which tracks SEEK and other job sites, shows there were 25,000 job vacancies in the same month.
In capital city areas, there were about 873,000 JobSeeker recipients for 63,000 job vacancies.
After the regional Northern Territory, the worst-affected place in terms of the number of JobSeekers per job available was regional Tasmania with a ratio of 50 to one.
Regional South Australia was third with a ratio of 43 to one, although the figures do not take into account Victoria’s second wave, which is expected to put 400,000 out of work by December.
Hobart is the capital city which ranks the lowest, with 35 JobSeekers per job.
The data was released by the Department of Social Services in response to a question by Labor shadow minister Linda Burney who wants the rate of JobSeeker to be permanently increased.
The June figures were the latest available because the regional breakdown of July’s JobSeeker figures had not been released.
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The boosted unemployment benefit, which is worth $1,115 a fortnight, will be cut to $815 on 24 September and then to $565 on 31 December.
Labor fears the reduction will cause mass job losses as a knock-on effect of Australians being given less money which could be spent in shops and local businesses.
‘Many in regional Australia are anxious about the level of support that will be available to them after December,’ Ms Burney told Daily Mail Australia.
She called on Nationals leader and deputy prime minister Michael McCormack to back her demands for an increase to the JobSeeker payment.
‘The Deputy Prime Minister should stand up for regional Australia by delivering a permanent increase to JobSeeker,’ she said.
Mr McCormack has previously said: ‘The best form of welfare is a job.’
Last week Labor warned thousands of working Australians stand to lose their jobs when the JobSeeker payment is dramatically reduced in December.
Sydney had 11 JobSeekers per job available in June. Pictured: The Queen Victoria Building in the CBD
The coronavirus crisis has destroyed so many jobs that even Canberra (pictured), the nation’s least-affected area, has four people receiving unemployment benefits for every vacancy
The grim forecast came after the country suffered a quarterly slump worse than the 1930s Great Depression with a seven per cent drop in GDP in the June quarter.
Ms Burney, Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services, said a permanent increase would support the economy.
‘Australians who are out of work or who have had hours reduced during this crisis are spending their JobSeeker payments on local businesses, sustaining local jobs,’ she said.
‘The Prime Minister’s snapback of JobSeeker in December is not a plan for jobs and threatens to leave out-of-work Australians behind.’
Labor has refused to say how much the payment should be increased by.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he will consider announcing a permanent increase in the October budget but he is focused on getting Aussies off JobSeeker and back into work.
The government estimates that 1.5million Australians will be on JobSeeker in December.
After December 31 they are due to get $250 less per fortnight, meaning $375million less will be pumped into the economy.
Thousands more Australians stand to lose their jobs when the JobSeeker payment is dramatically reduced at the end of the year, Labor has warned. Pictured: A shop in Sydney
Australia has officially sunk into recession for the first time in almost 30 years with a quarterly slump worse than the 1930s Great Depression. Pictured: A Melbourne shop closing down
This amount is the equivalent to the average fortnightly wages of 143,711 Australians.
National accounts figures released on Wednesday showed that consumer spending in the June quarter declined by $33.5 billion compared with the same period the previous year.
During the quarter the government spent about $6.3billion on the coronavirus supplement.
The prime minister doubled the payment in March to cushion the blow for hundreds of thousands of Australians who lost their jobs due to coronavirus restrictions.
A spokesman for Social Services Minster Anne Ruston said: ‘Labor continues to reveal its ignorance on economic management preferring to spend now and tax later.
‘Instead, our focus is targeting support where it’s need and getting people back to work because that is the best way to get the economy back on track.
‘More than 340,000 jobs have been created in the last two months, recovering about 40 per cent of the jobs lost since the start of the pandemic, and we will continue to support employment growth by investing in infrastructure, incentives for businesses and reskilling and retraining people.
‘As we’ve said since the pandemic began we are keeping a close eye on economic conditions and will continue to provide enhanced support to the community through this difficult period.’
How are the support payments changing from September?
* The elevated unemployment benefit will remain at $1,115.70 a fortnight until September 24
* From the next day until the end of the year the $550 coronavirus supplement will be cut to $250, taking overall fortnightly dole payments down to $815.70
* People will be able to earn up to $300 without having their payment reduced
* The mutual obligation rules requiring people to search for four jobs a month will restart on August 4
* Penalties for people refusing a job offer will be reintroduced
* Job search requirements will increase in September when the assets test will also return
* On 31 December the supplement is due to end. The permanent JobSeeker rate to take effect from January next year will be announced in the October 6 budget.
* The $1,500 fortnightly wage subsidy will continue until September 27
* From the end of September to January, JobKeeper will be reduced to $1,200 for full-time workers and $750 for people working 20 hours or less
* From January to March, the full-time rate will be $1,000 and part-time will reduce to $650
* Businesses turning over less than $1 billion will have to requalify for the program at both stages through showing a 30 per cent drop in revenue
* Businesses with more than $1billion in turnover have to demonstrate a 50 per cent fall