The unemployment rate is forecast to hit 9.25 per cent by December, but the Treasurer says it could have been much worse. Picture: Treasurer's Economic and Fiscal Update
The unemployment rate is forecast to hit 9.25 per cent by December, but the Treasurer says it could have been much worse. Picture: Treasurer's Economic and Fiscal Update

1 in 10 Aussies unemployed by Christmas

One in 10 Australian workers will be unemployed by Christmas the Morrison Government has predicted in a grim COVID-19 forecast.

Warning the world faced the most significant economic challenge since the Great Depression, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has revealed the nation now faces an $850 billion debt bomb that will take decades to repay.

But he's reassured voters that the nation's debt-to-GDP ratio remains much better than other comparable countries.

However, the jobs outlook remains grim with thousands to join the unemployed queues.

"The jobs market will take time to recover with the unemployment rate forecast to peak at 9.25 per cent in the December quarter 2020," Mr Frydenberg said.

"Beyond 2020, labour market conditions will strengthen but it will take some time for the unemployment rate to decline.

"There remains significant uncertainty around global and domestic recovery.

"We're not out of the woods yet."

Despite the grim outlook, the Treasurer said the rise in unemployment triggered by the virus outbreak could have been a lot worse.

"Without the Government's support unemployment would be 5 per cent higher. The Government's actions have saved 700,000 jobs," he said.

RELATED: Australia's $850 billion debt bomb revealed

 

The unemployment rate is forecast to hit 9.25 per cent by December, but the Treasurer says it could have been much worse. Picture: Treasurer's Economic and Fiscal Update
The unemployment rate is forecast to hit 9.25 per cent by December, but the Treasurer says it could have been much worse. Picture: Treasurer's Economic and Fiscal Update

 

Mr Frydenberg shared the jobs outlook in an economic outlook update that shows Australia's budget deficit will hit the $184 billion mark this financial year, in the biggest blowout since World War II.

Just months ago, he had hoped to hand down the first budget surplus in Australia in years.

As pandemic lockdowns deliver a once in a century hit to tax revenues, he has also confirmed the 2019-20 budget deficit - the difference between the government's revenue and outlays in that year is $85.8 billion.

"These harsh numbers reflect the harsh reality we face the economic outlook remains very uncertain," Mr Frydenberg said.

"Recent events in Victoria are a testament to this, a painful reminder, how a setback in combating the virus can impact the speed and the trajectory of our national economic recovery."

 

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg during a press conference as the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact Australia's economy. Picture: Sam Mooy/Getty Images
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg during a press conference as the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact Australia's economy. Picture: Sam Mooy/Getty Images

Those figures reflect the $289 billion that the Morrison Government has dropped on stimulus measures including direct payments to people on welfare, increases to JobSeeker and the JobKeeper wage subsidy.

But it's the debt levels that have blown out to a stunning $840 billion as the Prime Minister and Treasurer were forced to borrow more money to pay for those measures and were hit by lower tax revenues.

Mr Frydenberg said that Australia continues to have a low debt to GDP ratio compared with other countries.

Originally published as 1 in 10 Aussies unemployed by Christmas


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