CANBERRA, AAP – Scott Morrison is banking on a pre-Christmas jobs bonanza as he revs up for a federal election next year.
The prime minister says new analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data based on previous post-lockdown jobs growth showed 280,000 jobs could be filled in the lead-up to the summer holiday season.
“Australia is reopening safely and to secure our economic recovery we want to see more Australians in jobs this Christmas and summer,” Mr Morrison says.
The latest National Skills Commission data also shows job advertisements on the internet have soared to a 13-year high with 250,900 positions up for grabs.
“We’ve seen what jobs growth can be achieved after lockdowns before,” Mr Morrison said.
“With even fewer restrictions and the threat of lockdown fading, there’s never been a better time for businesses to hire as more people get out and about shopping, travelling, eating and enjoying themselves this festive season.”
Employment Minister Stuart Robert said the analysis showed that by sticking to the national plan for reopening the government had delivered the certainty required for business to bounce back as they look to employ more Australians by the end of the year.
Official ABS data released last week showed unemployment spiking to 5.2 per cent in October from 4.6 per cent in the previous month.
A further 46,300 jobs were also lost, making a total of more than 330,000 in the past three months as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns in NSW, Victoria and the ACT.
However, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has been quick to point out this did not capture the easing of restrictions in these jurisdictions.
He says Australian Taxation Office data shows payroll jobs rose 13 per cent in the fortnight to October 24.
New hires were 25 per cent up in NSW, 15 per cent higher in Victoria and 22 per cent stronger in the ACT.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is looking for a jobless rate close to four per cent and wages growth above three per cent before it is confident that inflation is sustainably within its two to three per cent target.
This will allow it to normalise monetary policy and start lifting the cash rate from its emergency record low of 0.1 per cent.
Data on Wednesday showed wages growth in the September quarter returning to its pre-pandemic level of 2.2 per cent, albeit remaining well below the consumer price index at three per cent.
“This is yet more evidence than under this prime minister and this Liberal National government working families are struggling to keep up with the skyrocketing cost of living because the government’s record on wages has been so appalling,” shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers told reporters in Brisbane.
Wages growth had sunk to a record low of 1.4 per cent during the pandemic.