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Little sign of jobs recovery in Victoria before lockdown

The latest payroll jobs figures for the last two weeks of January, released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), show little sign of a recovery in Victorian jobs.

For the two weeks from 16 January to 30 January, the growth in payroll jobs in Victoria was the smallest in Australia except for Western Australia, at a meagre 1.0 per cent.

Overall, Victoria’s loss in payroll jobs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is still clearly the largest in the country at 3.7 per cent, which is double the rate of loss of payroll jobs across Australia, at 1.9 per cent. These figures are before Victoria was plunged into a third hard lockdown last Friday.

The job numbers for small businesses in Victoria continue to be dire, with businesses that employ fewer than 20 employees shedding jobs at twice the rate as businesses with 200 or more employees since the start of the pandemic.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“These latest payroll job numbers show that Victoria was still languishing behind the rest of the country in getting people back to work before this latest hard lockdown.

“The jobs lost during the pandemic need to come back, as people need to work so they can look after their families and pay household expenses.

“This was before this last lockdown, a lockdown that has been particularly hard on small businesses. We’ve seen the biggest weekend of the year for florists, Valentine’s Day, ruined by this lockdown. Restaurants normally full with bookings for Lunar New Year also bore the brunt of this swift lockdown.

“Despite this, only 1 in 5 small businesses have received any support from the Andrews Labor Government, and there is no sign of any further support forthcoming.

“I am calling on Daniel Andrews to compensate small businesses hit hard by his sudden lockdown as soon as possible.”

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