Modest Fall in Unemployment Welcome but More Stimulus Needed: Australia Institute

Today’s employment figures show that more government stimulus is needed to counter the persistent, hidden economic fallout of COVID-19, The Australia Institute has said.

“While a modest fall in unemployment is welcome, there is still a long way to go before we see a return to situation normal,” said Matt Grudnoff, Senior Economist at The Australia Institute.

“Unemployment at 6.6 per cent is still far too high, as is the underutilisation rate at 15.1 per cent.

“With thousands of Australians being supported by JobKeeper in roles that may not continue beyond March, the headline unemployment rate doesn’t tell the whole story.

“With average hours worked falling over the month, it’s clear that the government needs to invest more in our society, not cut supports when they are still needed to build our national recovery.

“More stimulus, better targeted at those Australians who have been hit the hardest by COVID-19, is needed over the short and medium term.”