Today’s unemployment figures mask the true impact of COVID lockdowns on jobs, and an urgent boost to income support is needed to help people survive the downturn while the economy recovers, ACOSS said today.
While the headline national unemployment figure fell to 4.5%, total employment fell by 146,300 jobs, vastly more than had been predicted. This means that some people have simply given up looking for work because of the economic conditions. Read more
In light of new research showing people on lower incomes have died of COVID at four times the rate of higher income people, ACOSS again calls on National Cabinet to urgently set specific vaccination targets for higher-risk groups, including people on low incomes, before relaxing restrictions, which could place entire communities at risk. Read more
With almost 90% of people on the lowest incomes in lockdown missing out on the disaster payments, ACOSS reiterates its call for the $200-per-week disaster payment to be extended to all people struggling to survive in deep poverty, such as those trying to get by on JobSeeker ($44 per day/$315 per week.)
The Federal Government’s own data show just a little over a tenth of people locked down on income support payments, such as JobSeeker, have been able to access the $200-per-week disaster payment.
Currently, the disaster payments exclude people who did not have paid work going into the lockdowns. This is despite lockdowns making it near impossible to find paid work. Read more