There was much talk in March that the end of the government’s JobSeeker wage subsidy would see unemployment go through the roof that would lead to some serious damage to Australia’s improving economy. However, according to the reported figures, it looks like it’s done anything but that. A report by Roy Morgan highlighted that Australia’s employment rate has reached a record high of 13 million in April. The figure by Roy Morgan shows that 1.31 million Australians were unemployed in April which was 332,000 down on the March rate bringing it to 9%. They also highlight that this was offset by under-employment which was up 268,000 in April to 9.3%.
The April figure by ABS showed a declining employment rate of 5.6% however apparently this doesn’t include those employed who are working zero hours and also those who are unemployed. While many employers are struggling to find workers, there are still 500,000 more people unemployed to the pre-COVID unemployment level. In the same article, they said that fewer people were looking for both full-time work (down 75,000 to 593,000), or part-time work (down 257,000 to 714,000).
The lending ability of those in part-time work or underemployed will become more difficult as prices continue to rise – pushing more would-be 1st home buyers out of the market. It appears to me that the government will need to step in as housing affordability becomes trickier for many. Perhaps a move toward more medium-density residential living with good surrounding infrastructure is required in the years to come particularly in more of the regional areas.