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Australia: 2 million still unemployed or underemployed, with JobKeeper cut looming

ACTU President Michele O’Neil has sent a warning to the Morrison government saying that with just over 2 million people unemployed or underemployed in Australia the Federal Government shouldn’t be acting like the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

The ACTU in a statement has said the levels of unemployment and underemployment are alarming as Job Keeper is to be cut at the end of March with payments set to be reduced to just $40 a day.

It is even more concerning for due to the fact that it is still unknown when borders will reopen and industries like aviation, higher education and tourism will recover.

“JobKeeper and JobSeeker have been the backbone that held our economy together during the pandemic and to cut them while entire sectors are still feeling the effect of the crisis is short-sighted and dangerous.” Said the ACTU President.

“1.5 million people still rely on JobKeeper to keep them in work, they face an uncertain future once the program is cut at the end of March.”

The ACTU has also highlighted that the economic recovery would be further harmed by proposed changes to IR legislation, which will make it easier to cut workers’ pay, and make it more difficult to negotiate better pay and conditions.

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