Release type: Media Release


The ABS labour force figures for September


Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business

Labour force figures released today by the ABS reflect the ongoing impact of COVID-19, border closures and restrictions on Australia’s labour market activity.

Seasonally adjusted employment decreased by 29,500 in September, to stand at 12,571,900, following a strong increase of 129,100 in August.  The unemployment rate also increased slightly, by 0.1 percentage points, to 6.9 per cent.

The decrease in jobs was most significant in Victoria, much of which was in Stage 4 lockdowns during the reporting period, which saw its level of employment fall by 35,500 (or 1.1 per cent) in September 2020.  Outside of Victoria, the rest of Australia saw an increase of 6,000 jobs.

The Government remains acutely aware that the economic and labour market fallout from COVID-19 will continue for some time. That is why the Government has moved quickly to protect both the health and jobs of all Australians and has put in place sustainable measures to help cushion the impact of the pandemic.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said in order to help keep businesses in business and Australians in jobs, the Morrison Government has responded with hundreds of billions of dollars to support our economic recovery.

“The Morrison Government has recently committed $1.2 billion Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy to support 100,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships,” Minister Cash said.

“The 50 per cent wage subsidy announced in the 2020-21 Budget will support the next generation of our skilled workers and to help job seekers get back into work.”

The subsidy will be available to employers of any size or industry, Australia-wide who engage an Australian apprentice or trainee from 5 October 2020.  Under the measure, employers will be eligible for 50 per cent of the wages for a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee for the period up to 30 September 2021, up to $7,000 per quarter.

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