According to the latest Labour Force data form the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the unemployment rate increased to 7.5 per cent over the month of July, with approximately 15,700 Australians losing their jobs.
This marks the fifth consecutive increase in the unemployment rate, which has risen by a cumulative 2.4 per cent since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis
This came despite approximately 114,700 Australians returning to work over the month of July, taking the total to 343,000 since May.
According to Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS, the jobs recovery in July was underpinned by a larger increase in part-time employment (71,200 people) than full-time employment (43,500 people).
“Overall, the percentage of people employed in Australia increased 0.5 percentage points to 59.8 per cent, up from a low of 58.2 per cent in May,” he added.
However, reflecting on the ABS figures, ANZ Research said it expects labour market conditions to deteriorate over the coming months in response to the economic impact of recently imposed lockdown measures in Melbourne.
“Victorian employment rose by 23,000 in July, with stage 3 restrictions for Melbourne and Mitchell Shire introduced in only the final few days of the survey reference period,” the group noted.
“Unfortunately, Victorian employment is likely to fall sharply in August and September, especially with the move to stage 4 restrictions.
“While Victorian workers and businesses will suffer the worst of the impact, employment elsewhere in the country will also be affected.”
Treasury recently revised its forecast for the unemployment rate, which it now expects to hit a peak 10 per cent, up from initial forecasts of 9.25 per cent.