ACOSS remains concerned interest rate rises will take their toll in coming months

ACOSS is relieved the unemployment rate hasn’t gone backwards, but fears the RBA’s cumulative interest rate rises will take their toll on jobs in coming months.

Today’s jobs figures show the unemployment rate holding steady at 3.5% for June.

Acting ACOSS CEO Edwina MacDonald said: “ACOSS is relieved today that the unemployment rate has remained steady. But we fear the RBA’s 12 interest rate hikes will take their toll on jobs in coming months.

“We know that fear of an unemployment spike was a factor in the RBA holding rates at 4.1%.

“Using higher unemployment to curb inflation is unfair and brutal. There’s a danger that the cure will be worse than the disease.

‘ACOSS notes that a rise in unemployment to 4.5%, which appears to be the RBA’s target level, would mean an extra 150,000 people out of paid work. Instead, as the RBA review recommends, it should give equal weight to the goal of full employment, alongside curbing inflation.”

ACOSS again urged the government to intervene directly to tackle inflation, including through improved regulation of housing rents, which are now a large contributor to inflation.

“Inflation makes life harder for people with the least, but unemployment can be a catastrophe – especially when there is inadequate income support,” Ms MacDonald said.