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Economist casts doubt over latest unemployment figures

Tom Elliott
Article image for Economist casts doubt over latest unemployment figures

Victoria’s unemployment rate has fallen significantly in figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

The state’s jobless rate plummeted by 0.7 per cent to 4.8 per cent, a level not seen since the start of the pandemic.

Economist Saul Eslake says there “almost certainly is” a disconnect between the reported figures and reality.

“The definition of unemployment … where by you’re counted as employed if you work one hour a week or more for pay is an international one,” he told Tom Elliott on 3AW Drive.

“Given Victoria has just been through it’s fourth lockdown in fourteen months, and unlike the previous lockdown there hasn’t been JobKeeper … or an elevated level of JobSeeker.

“There has been an increased number of … small businesses who survived the first three lockdowns but regard this as having been the last straw, so it is possible that you could see some increase in measured unemployment in June or July.”

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Tom Elliott
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