The Australian job market is continuing steadily on the path of recovery, reporting the fourth month of increase in employment in January. The rate of unemployment fell more than was anticipated, which is a positive sign for the economy.
Employment reportedly increased a net 29,100 last month, that is, January 2021, in addition to the gain of 50,000 in December 2020. The unemployment rate dipped to 6.4 percent from 6.6 percent, whereas the prediction was 6.5 percent. Considering that in July, the jobless rate had peaked to 7.5 percent, things sure seem to be looking up.
The unemployment situation is now more or less similar to what it was in April 2020, when the country was put under lockdown. Joblessness is well below the 7.5 percent that it had reached in July, which was the highest in 22 years.
In March, the wage-subsidy program introduced by the government will come to an end. It was this aid that kept many companies alive through the crisis and saved employees from losing their livelihood.
About 1.54 million employees collected the wage subsidy between October and December 2020, compared to 3.6 million between April and September.
The JobKeeper scheme, which was supposed to end in 2020 was extended until March 2021. However, the eligibility criteria were made stricter and the payouts were reduced from A$1,500 to A$1,200 per fortnight, w.e.f September. Since last month, the aid has dipped to A$1,000 per fortnight.